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JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

A MEMOIR 



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JEREMIAH JAMES 

COLMAN 



A MEMOIR 



BY 

ONE OF HIS DAUGHTERS 



««■ 



HELEN CAROLINE COLMAN 



LONDON 

PRIVATELY PRINTED AT THE CHISWICK PRESS 

I90f 



IN MEMORIAM 
JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN. 

DEDICATED TO HIS EIOHT GRANDCHILDREN, THE OLDER ONES 
TOO YOUNG TO HAVE MORE THAN A SHADOWY RECOL- 
LECTION OF HIM, AND THE YOUNGER ONES WHO 
NEVER KNEW HIM: VIOLET, GEOFFREY, 
BERYL, ALAN, JOAN, CHRISTOPHER, 
HUMPHREY, AND STUART. 



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fUl^LIC IIBttABY I 

ASTOR, LEKOX, AND 
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 



MMMI*!^ 



This Memoir, written for private circulation, is a gift, 

in memory of their Father, from his 

surviving children. 



PREFACE 

TO the many whose help has been invaluable to me in 
the writing of this Memoir, and 'above all to those 
whose reminiscences have supplied the graphic touches to 
the earlier records which would otherwise have been wholly 
wanting, I desire to express my grateful thanks. Amongst 
them I would specially mention my relative, Mr. Samuel 
C. Colman, my uncle, Lord Justice G)zens-Hardy, and my 
aunt, Mrs. Willis. 

To those whose very close connexion makes formal 
thanks unnecessary, I need merely say how much their 
help has meant to me. 

I am also under obligation to several relations and friends 
who have kindly supplied me with photographs with which 
to enrich this volume, and to Mr. Albert £. Coe, Messrs. 
Elliott and Fry, and the London Stereoscopic G>mpany for 
kind permission to reproduce photographs taken by them. 

In compiling the Genealogical Table, I am indebted to 
Mr. E. B. Southwell for much of the earlier infornution 
on the Colman side, and to my uncle, Mr. Sydney Cozens- 
Hardy, and my cousin, Mr. W. H. Cozens-Hardy, for that 
on the Cozen»-Hardy side. 

Some explanation is needed for the delay in bringing out 
this Memoir. The large mass of papers which had to be 
looked through has made the task, not attempted until 
the sprii^ of 1902, one of considerable length. It has 
been undertaken mainly with the desire to perpetuate 
amongst my Father's descendants something of the life- 
history of himself, and of those who have gone before him, 
much of which might otherwise rapidly have passed away. 

ti. C C 
Carhow Housfi, 

Norwich, 
NovEMBBR, 1905. 

vu 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTBR PAOI 

List of Illustrations .•••••.. xi 

Chronological List of Events xv 

I. Ancestry i 

II. His Great-Uncle Jeremiah Colman • • • 15 

III. His Father and Mother 26 

IV. Childhood and School Days: 1830— 1847: 

aged I — 17 41 

V. Youth to Manhood: 1847 — 1851: aged 

17 — 21 49 

VI. Death of his Father: 1851 — 1854: aged 

21—24. 74 

VII. Early Business Days at Stoke 82 

VIIL Engagement and Marriage: 1855 — 1856: 

^^ 24 — 26 lOI 

IX. Early Days at Carrow • 119 

X. Religious Work and Beliefs 134 

XI. Educational Views: Grammar School and 

Charity Trusts 1 64 

XII. Municipal Life 182 

XIII. Early Political Life 194 

XIV. Norwich Politics: 1859 — 1871: aged 2 8 — 

40 216 

XV. Personal and Family Events: 1856 — 1873: 

aged 26 — 43 238 

XVL First Parliament: 1871 — 1874: aged 40— 

43 257 

XVII. Second Parliament: 1874 — 1880: aged 

43—49 268 

ix 



X JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XVIII. Third Parliament: 1880— 1885: aged 

49—55 294 

XIX. Fourth Parliament: 1885 — 1886: aged 55 305 

XX. Fifth Parliament: 1886 — 1892: aged 

56 — 61 311 

XXI. Sixth Parliament: 1892 — 1895: aged 

62 — 6§ 329 

XXII. Retirement from Parliament: 1895: aged 

,6s 336 

XXIII. Views on some Social Questions . . . ;^^;^ 

XXIV. Public Events in Norwich: 1873 — 1893: 

aged 43— 63 373 

XXV. Personal and Family Events: 1873 — 

1894: aged 43—64 383 

XXVI. Death of his Wife and his Son: 1895— 

1897: aged 64 — 66 409 

XXVII. Charafteristics and Tastes 424 

XXVIII. Closing Days: 1898: aged 68 .... 445 

Index 450 

Genealogical Table at end 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

TO PACI PAGE 

1. Jeremiah James Colman. From a photograph 

by Elliott and Fry, taken in 1897. rrontispiece 

2. BurialGround at Great Ellingham. From a photo- 

graph by Edith L. Willis, taken in 1904 . . 4 

3. Mrs. Robert Q>lman {nie Mary Harmer) of 

Ashwellthorpe. From a photograph by A. E. 
Coe of a pidhire in the possession of F. W. 
Harmer 6 

4. Porch of the house at Ashwellthorpe where 

Robert Colman lived. From a photograph by 
Mary E. C. Willis, taken in 1904 . . . . • 8 

5. Pound Farm, Rockland St Andrew. From a 

photograph by Nancy F. Gibson, taken in 
1904 12 

6. Robert G>lman, of Rockland St. Andrew. From 

an enlargement by A. E. Coe of a photo- 
mph, taken on Yarmouth Beach in i860, 
m dte possession of Mrs. James Fielding . . 14 

7. Jeremiah Colman, of Stoke Holy Cross. From a 

photograph by A. E. Coe of an oil painting 
by H. Room, painted in 1 842, in thej posses- 
sion of Russell James Colman 16 

8. The Mill House, Old Buckenham. From a 

photograph by Nancy F. Gibson, taken in 
1904 . . .' 28 

9. John Burlingham, of Old Buckenham. From a 

photograph by Edith L. Willis of a chalk 
drawing by Frederick A. Sandys, in the pos- 
session of Mrs. John Willis 30 

xi 



xii JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

TO FACE PAGE 

10. James G)lman, of Stoke Holv Cross. From a 

photograph by Edith L. Willis of a water^ 
colour portrait by Hemy Tidey, painted in 
1 854, in the possession of Mrs. John Willis. 36 

11. Mrs. James Colman {nie Mary Burlingham). 

From a photograph by Florence E. Board-^ 
man of a chsdk drawing by Frederick A. 
Sandys, made in 1896 40 

12. Stoke Cottage, Stoke Holy Cross, the birthplace 

of Jeremiah James Colman. From a photo- 
graph by Edith L. Willis, taken in 1904 • 42 

13. Jeremiah James Colman and his sister. From a 

photograph by Mary E. C. Willis of a pic- 
ture by H. Room, painted in 184 1 • . . 48 

14. Stoke Holy Cross Mill and Mill House. From 

a photograph by Florence E. Boardman . . 82 

15. Letheringsett Hall, Holt. From a photograph 

by Mary E. C. Willis, taken in 1905 . . 100 

16. Carrow House, Norwich. From a photograph 

by Ethel M. Colman, taken in 1905 . . . 118 

1 7. Carrow Works, Norwich, showing the first mill 

erefted. From a photograph by J. R. Sawyer, 
taken about 1857 122 

18. Jeremiah James Colman and his wife, Caroline 

Colman. From a photograph by Sawyer and 
Bird, taken in 1868 238 

19. The children of the above. From a photograph 

by Sawyer and Bird, taken in 187 1 . • . 238 

20. The Clyfrc, Corton. From a photograph by 

Ethd M. Colman, taken in 1905 . • . . 250 

2 1 . Carrow Abbey, Norwich, showing some of the 

ruins of the Church. From a photograph by 
Mary E. C. Willis, taken in 1905 . . . 388 

22. The Guest Chamber at Carrow Abbey. From 

a photograph by A. E. Coe, taken in 1890 . 390 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xiii 

TO FACI FAGI 

23. The ClyfFc, Corton. From a photograph by 

Ethel M. Cokxian, taken in 1905 .... 400 

24. Mrs. WiUiam Hardy G>zens-Hardy (nJe Sarah 

Theobald). From a photograph by A. E. Coe 406 

25. William Hardy Cozens-Hardy. From a photo- 

graph by the London Stereoscopic Company 408 

26. Mrs. Jeremiah James G>lman (nee Caroline 

Cozens-[Hardy]. From a photograph by 
Elliott and Fry 410 

27. Alan Cozens-Hardy Colman. From a photo- 

graph by A. E. Coe, taken in 1894 . . . 418 

28. Jeremiah James Colman. From a photograph 

by Elliott and Fry 424 

29. A portion of the Library at Carrow House. 

From a photograph by Florence E. Board- 
man 440 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF EVENTS 

CONNECTSD WITH 

JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

1804. ^^^ Great-Uncle, Jeremiah Colman, moved from 
Bawburgh to Norwich, where he had bought a 
Flour Mill. 

1 8 14. His Great-Uncle, Jeremiah Colman, moved from 
Norwich to Stoke Holy Cross, tsiking over the 
Mustard and Flour Business of Edward Ames. 

1823. His Great-Unde, Jeremiah Colman, founded the 
Firm of J. & J. Colman, by taking his Nephew, 
James Colman, into Partnership. 

1826. Marriage of his Father, James Colman, with Mary 
BurEngham. 

1830. Birth of their Son, Jeremiah James Colman. 

1838. Birth of their Daughter, Mary Esther Colman. 

1844. His Uncles, Jeremiah Colman and Edward Col- 
man, admitted Partners in the Firm of J. & J. 
Colman. 

1 85 1. Jeremiah James Colman admitted a Partner in the 
Firm of J. & J. Colman. 
„ Death of his Great-Unde, Jeremiah Colman. 

1854. Death of his Father, James Colman. 

„ Removal, with his Mother and Sister, from Stoke 
Mill House to Town Close Lodge, Ipswich 
Road, Norwich. 

1855. Engagement to Caroline Cozens-Hardy. 

1856. First Mill (for mustard) ereded at Carrow Works, 

Norwich. 

XV 



xvi JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

1856. Marriage with Caroline Cozens-Hardy. 
yy Remoml from Town Close Lodge to Carrow 
, House, Norwich. 

1858. Elefted a Governor of the Norwich Grammar 

School. 

1 859. Eleded Chairman of the Committee of Independent 

Reformers, started that year. 
„ Birth of his first Child. 
„ Elefted a member of the Norwich Town Council. 

1 86 1. Birth of his second Child. 

1862. The Business of J. & J. Colman finally removed 

from Stoke Holy Cross to Carrow Works, 
Norwich. 
1 8 62-3. Sheriff of Norwich. 

1863. Birth of his third Child. 

1864. First Block of new Buildings for Carrow Works' 

School opened on Carrow Hill. 

1865. Birth of his fourth Child. 

1 866. Kle£ted a Trustee of the Norwich Municipal 

Charities (General List). 

1867. Birth of his fifth ChUd. 
1867-8. Mayor of Norwich. 

1869. Appointed a Magistrate for Norwich. 
„ Birth of his sixth Child. 
„ Purchase of The Qyffe, Corton. 

Eleded Vice-Chairman of the Trustees of the Nor- 
wich Municipal Charities (General List). 

1 87 1. 1st EleAion as M.P. for Norwich. 

„ Retired from the Norwich Town Council. 

1872. Appointed a Magistrate for Norfolk. 
Eledted Chairman of the Trustees of the Norwich 

Municipal Charities (General List). 
1874. 2nd Ele6tion as M.P. for Norwich. 
„ Death of his Uncle, and Partner, Edward Colman. 
„ His Cousin, Frederick £. Colman, admitted a 

Partner in the Firm of J. & J. Colman. 



»» 



M 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF EVENTS xvii 

1878. Flood at Carrow Works. 
i88o. 3rd Election as M.P. for Norwich. 
y, EleAed Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors 

of the Norwich Grammar Scho(^. 
^) Appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Norfolk. 
1 8 8 1 . Fire at Carrow Works. 

1883. His Son, Russell James Colman, and his Cousin, 
Jeremiah Colman, admitted Partners in the Firm 
of J. & J. Colman. 

1885. I^^th of his Uncle, and Partner, Jeremiah Colman. 
„ 4th Election as M.P. for Norwich. 

1886. Restoration of Carrow Abbey finished. 
„ 5th EleAion as M.P. for Norwich. 

1888. Marriage of his Son, Russell James Colman, with 
Edith Margaret Davies. 

1 890. EleAed Chairman of the Board of Governors of the 

Norwich Grammar School. 
yy Marriage of his Daughter, Laura Elizabeth Cobnan, 

with James Stuart. 
„ Diamond Wedding of his Wife's Parents, Mr. and 

Mrs. W. H. Cozens-Hardy of Letheringsett 

1 89 1. Death of his Mother-in-law, Mrs. W. H. Cozens- 

Hardy. 

1892. Presentation after twenty-one years as M.P. for 

Norwich. 
„ 6th Eledion as M.P. for Norwich. 
1892-3. His Son, Russell James Colman, Sheriff of Nor- 
wich. 

1893. His Son, Alan Cozens-Hardy Colman, admitted a 

Partner in the Firm of J. & J. Colman. 
„ Honorary Freedom of the City of Norwich con- 
ferred by the Corporation. 

1895. Death of his Father-m-law, W. H. Cozens-Hardy. 
Death of his Wife. 
Close of his Parliamentary life. 

1 896. Elefted an Alderman of the City of Norwich. 






iviii JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

m 

1896. The Firm of J. & J. Colman converted into a 

Private Limited LiabUity Companv. 

1897. Death of his Son, Alan Cozens-Hardy G)lman, in 

1898. Mamage of his Daughter, Florence Esther Colman^ 

with Edward Thomas Boardman. 
yy Death of his Mother, Mrs. James Colman. 
yy His Death. 



^ And so now and then in our lives, when we learn to love a 
sweet and noble chara^er, we all feel happier and better for the 
goodness and charity which is not ours, and yet which seems to 
belong to us while we are near it. Just as some people and 
states of mind zffe& us uncomfortably, so we seem to be true 
to ourselves with a truthful person, generous-minded with a 
generous nature; life seems less disappointing and self-seeking 
when we think of the just and sweet and unselnsh spirits, moving 
untroubled among dinning and distra6ting influences. These are 
our friends in the best and noblest sense. We are the happier for 
their existence, — it is so much gain to us. They may have lived 
at some distant time, we may never have met face to face, or we 
may have known them and been blessed by their love ; but their 
light shines from afar, their life is for us and with us in its 
generous example ; their song is for our ears, and we hear it and 
love it still, though the singer may be lying desul."-^From an Essay 
on Jane Austen, by Miss Thackeray. 



JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 



CHAPTER I 

ANCBSTRY 

MY Father^ who was the only son of James and Maiy 
Colman, was bom on June 14th, 1 8 30, at Stoke Holy 
Crossy about four miles south of Norwich, in which village 
he spent his, life until he moved to the city in 1856. He 
received the names of Jeremiah James, the latter after his 
father, and the former after his great-uncle, the name linking 
him at the same time with numerous ancestors, for it occurs 
with bewildering freqi^ency in the family records. 

His father, when staying in the neighbourhood of Whitby, 
in 1 852, was interested in the history of his Irish namesake, 
the Bishop of lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumbria, 
who attended the Synod held at the Abbey presided over by 
StHilda in 664, and warmly espoused the cause of the Celtic 
as against the Romish Churches when they were rent in twain 
over certain pradHces in the Church. In spite of the support 
of the Abbess, the decision of the Kings went against Bishop 
Colman and his brother Monks, and, rather than submit, 
they gave up everything and retired from Noithumbria.. It 
was doubtless this fidelity to their faith which specially 
appealed to my Grandfather. " Now cannot Jeremiah," he 
wrote, referring to his son, " trace some conne&ion of our 
family with this celebrated Bishop ?" Any possible connedHon 
there might be between his family and that of the Bishop 
remains, however, untraced. 

Coming nearer home, a brass in the Church at Ludham, 
in Norfolk, dating probably from the middle of the fifteenth 

B 



2 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

century, records, in a Latin inscription, the biuial place of 
one, John Colman ; and in the same century, Joan Colman 
of Worstead, by her Will, proved in 1439, bequeathed some 
of her goods to the Lady Julian Lampyt, of Qirrow Abbey; 
while records are said to show there were Cdlmans in Nor- 
folk in much earlier days. 

But research has at present failed to establish any con- 
necting link with these, and the earliest ancestor who has 
been traced with certainty is^ Jeremiah G)lman of Wymond- 
ham, whose wife's name was Rebecca, and whose eldest child 
of a family of twelve was baptized, according to the Wy- 
mondham Church Register, in 1620. 

One of his sons, Jeremiah, baptized in 1 630, is recorded 
in the Hethersett Raster as having married in 16C3: 
" Barbara Turner in Hayton daughter of Barbra Whitfoot 
widow," whose husband was elsewhere described as ^^ Michael 
Whitefoot, gent." There seems little doubr that this son 
supported the Parliamentary cause in those days, and when 
the Reftor, Philip Tennison, was ejedied from the living at 
Hethersett, Jeremiah Colman was installed in his place. He 
died in i6§Sy^ind his successor, Thomas Moore, junior, pub- 
lished a funeral sermon on him, a copy of which is in the 
British Museum, entitled : 

Breach upon Breach : or an Acknowledgment of Judiciall 
Breaches made upon us, procured by Sinfull Breaches found amongst 
us ; with Instru^on, Admonition, and encouragement yet to turn 
to him that smites us, as the sum of it was delivered at the Fimerall 
of Mr. Jeremiah Colman (late Preacher of the Gospell at Hetherset 
in Norfolk) February 18, 165^. 

The preliminary " Epistle to the Reader " describes the 
deceased as a zealous, good, kind-hearted man who did his 
duty very thoroughly. The sermon, which would take a 
quick reader about five hours to deliver, is, one imagines, an 
daboration of the original. Though written in 1658 it was 

^ For a genealogical table see end of the book. 






/ 



ANCESTRY 3 

not published till July 27, 1659, the author's apology for 
printing it being that: 

at the funend of our deceased Brother I was earnestly requested 
once and again by our Sister the Widow of the deceased (who also 
signified it to be the earnest desire of others). This way to make 
more publick what I had then delivered. 

But it is through an elder brother, Edward, baptized in 

1627, that my Father traced descent. He married Ann ^ 

and died in 1668, and was buried at Wymondham. By his 
Will, dated 1659, ;^20 a year was to be provided from certain 
of his estates in Wymondham or elsewhere, for the benefit 
of scholars at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, the money 
to be divided amongst any bearing the Founder's name, or 
in default of such, amongst two scholars from the Free School 
at Norwich, and two from the one at Wymondham. The 
Exhibition, thus founded, still continues, r rom this Edward 
Colman there sprang three succeeding generations, all bear- 
ingthc name of Jeremiah. 

1 he son married Rebeka Bubbin and died in 1 749, aged 
ninety-two. The grandson married, first, Deborah Weavers, 
and secondly, Esther Barnard, and died in 1 763. The great- 
grandson, born in 1 7 1 7, married Mary Juby, and was my 
Father's great-great-grandfather. He lived at Wreningham, 
and afterwards at Spooner Row, in the neighbourhood of 
WTOiondham. 

The Church-book of the Firland Congregational Chapd 
at Wymondham shows, by the following entries, that he and 
his wife were conneAed with that Church. 

Atay 2ndy IJSS* Jeremiah Colman of Wreningham was joined 
to the Church of Protestant Dissenters here. He gave in a written 
account of the Lord's work on his soul, for this is left to the option 
of such as are joined to us either to write or to speak their experiences 
or otherwise by private conversation confirmed by a walk becoming 
the Grospel. 

Jug. lothy 1756. Last Lord's Day Mrs. Colman, wife to Mr. 
Colman of Wreningham, Brother of the Church, was proposed to 
fiill Conununion. Blessed be God. 



4 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

O^. 7/A, 1756. Mrs. Colman was added to the Church here and 
on the loth sat down with us at the Lord's Table. 

Two copies of Dr. Watts' HTmn-book which belonged 
to this Jeremiah G>lman are amongst the family treasures. 
One came to my Father in a roundabout way, and bears the 
inscription : " A Rudling. Left by Mr. J. Colma[n], Ash- 
welthorpe 1797," — the year of his death. A. Rudling is 
doubtless the poetical friend of Robert G>lman, of whom 
more anon. 

The other hymn-book, a copy of the 1753 edition, now 
in the possession of Mrs. James Fielding, bears the following 
inscription, though there is nothing to show the identity of 
the grandchild who wrote the latter part: 

Jere Colman 

June ye 2. 1755 

Wreningham 

This person was my grandfather he Died at EUingham . • . 13th, 

1 797, Aged 80 years, and my Father, Rob. Colman, died at Asbwell- 

thorpe, Jany 7th,* 1807 aged 57. 

A glance into this hymn-book — " The Psalms of David 

IMITATED IN THE LANGUAGE OP THE NeW TeSTAMENT, ANC 
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN StATE AND WoRSHIP, V\ 

I. Watts, D.D." with " Hymns and Spiritual Songs " ii 
three books — ^reveals how much a changing theology has lef 
Its mark on hymns. A few verses must suffice to indicat 
how large a place was taken by the grim and the terrible ii 
the theologiod thought of the day, and how dark were th 
colours employed to paint the gloom of earthly life^ and th 
Satanic fury waiting for all it could destroy: 

Our Days, alas ! our mortal Days, 

Are short, and wretched too ; 
Evil and few, the Patriarch says, 

And well the Patriarch knew. 



* The inscription on his tombstone slab is Jan. 9th. 



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ANCESTRY 5 

Now Satan comes with dreadful Row 

And threatens to destroy $ 
He worries whom he can^ devour, 

With a malicious joy. 

On ^ Hbll : or, Ths Vbmqbancb of God." 

1. With holy Fear, and humble Song, 
The dreadful God our Souls adore; 
Rev'rence and Awe becomes the Tongue 
That speaks the Terrors of His Pow'r, 

2. Far in the Deep where Darkness dwells, 
The Land of Horror and Despair, 
Justice has built a dismal Hell, 

And laid her Stores of Vengeance there. 

3. Eternal Plagues, and heavy Chains, 
Tormenting Racks, and nery Coals, 
And Darts t'inflidt immortal Pains, 
Dy'd in the Blood of danmed Souls, 

4. There Satan the first Sinner lies. 
And roars, and bites his Iron Bands ; 
In vain the Rebel strives to rise, 

Crush'd with the weight of both thy Hands. 

5. There guilty Ghosts of Adam's Race 
Shriek out, and howl beneath thy Rod; 
Once they could scorn a Saviour s Grace, 
But they incens'd a dreadful God. 

6. Tremble, my Soul, and kiss the Son ; 
Sinner, obey thy Saviour's Call; 
Else your Damnation hastens on. 
And Hell gapes wide to wait your Fall. 

When my Father was one day looking at some of these 
verses in this hymn-book his eye fell on the lines beginning: 

When I survey the wond'rous Cross 
On which the Prince of Glory dy'd, 

** But that," he said, turning to the one who was with him, 
makes up for them all." 



c< 



6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

In the little Burial-^ound at Great Ellingham, conne<5):ed 
with although a mile or so distant from the Baptist Chapel, 
a stone marks the spot where, away from the high road, 
amidst fields and guarded by Scotch firs, Jeremiah Colman 
and Mary, his wife, were laid to rest. My Mother, after 
attending the funeral of a relative there in 1885, wrote of 
these ancestors to one of her daughters : 

I doubt not they were good Christian people who probably endured 
loss in many ways for the sake of Nonconformist principles. . . • 
It seemed to me a very sacred spot, not made so by a Bishop's con- 
secration, which is a senseless form, but by its holding the dust of 
those who stood up firmly in defence of civil and religious liberty. 

They had three children, (i) Jeremiah, who is said to have 
died (unmarried) at Castle Hedingham, though the Rasters 
there give no evidence of this, (2) Mary, born in 1747, who 
married James Barnard, and (3) Robert, born in 1749. 

Robert (my Father's great-grandfather) married Mary 
Harmer, daughter of Thomas Harmer of Denton on July 
21st, 1774. They lived at Ashwellthorpe, where he farmed 
the Hall Farm. At first they lived in the Hall itself, that 
being at the time unoccupied, but later they moved to the 
house adjoining the east side of the churchyard. After 
Robert Colman's death the farm was carried on for some 
years by his son Samuel, but about 1820 he and his mother, 
and two sisters (Ruth and Hannah) moved to Norwich. 

Robert Colman was conneded aU his life with the same 
Firland Chapel, and was one of those appointed to read out 
the hymns, the Church-book bearing the entry 

Robert Colman. Began to read . . . 

Ceased to read, January 9th, 1807. 

this being the day of his death. 

His praises are recorded in a poetic outburst by Anthony 
Rudling, a woolcomber and a Trustee of the Chapel, verses 
of which the Rev. E. Blomfield wrote that in his " poor 
opinion they contain lines which neither Pope nor Shenstone 
need have blushed to acknowledge." Whatever their poetic 



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ANCESTRY 7 

merits may be, it has occurred to more than one that many 
of the traits therein described were handed down to his great- 
grandson, my Father* Of the thirteen stanzas a few only 
must suffice. 

Close on the margin of a lucid stream 
Oppress'd with grief Alexis made his moan 
The waters echo*d to bis plaintive theme 
Colman my Friend, the worthy Colman 's gone* 

His generous mind with early wisdom Fired 
Stranger to Flattery or delusive art 
Prudence and Justice every thought inspired 
His Tongue expressed the Language of the Hart, 

Or when by adverse Fortunes cruel sting 
The eood and worthy met with grief expressed 
His Bounteous heart impatient took the wing 
To succour patient merit in distress. 

His widow, whose sweet, gende face has been handed 
down in a portrait now in the possession of Mr. F. W. 
Harmer, passed away at a ripe old age, leaving behind care- 
ful dire<^ions for the disposal of her litde property amongst 
her children. The short paper, signed only six months be- 
fore her death, in letters that tell of age and weakness, 
declares: 

It is my Will, that at my decease, my Daughter, Susan Turner 
shall have my blue bed, and two old table Spoons that are marked 
T M; that my daughter Mary Harmer shall have two table Spoons 
that are marked M H and that my daughter Ruth Colman shall 
have all the remainder of my Household furniture and plate, and 
also my Linen, wearing apparel and other household Goods. Any 
other property which I may leave, I will and diredl to be equally 
divided amongst all my Children. I hereby nominate and appoint 
Mr. Jeremiah Colman of Stoke, and Mr. Thomas Theobald of 
Norwich, executors of this my Will. In witness whereof I have 
herewith set my hand and seal this i6th day of November 1825. 

Mary Colman. 

One is tempted to linger over the all too meagre records 
of this great-great-grandmother, and breathe in the kindly 



8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

fragrance thqr seem to give out, and wonder whether any 
part of the blue bed has escaped the ravages of time, and 
what has been the history cSf the spoons — of which, un- 
happily, all trace seems lost. 

The large family of four sons and eight daughters must 
have lived in peaceful harmony if one may judge from a 



side-light thrown on the carrying out of the Will — a not 
infrequent disturber of the peace. Anxious that no injustice 
should be done, even through inadvertence, the L^tees 
signed a paper stating : 

Aware of the great and deserved respect which Mrs. Mary 
Colman always entertained for Mr. Wm. Bowles, her son-in-law, 
particularly on account of his afiedionate and exemplary condud 
towards her daughter Rebecca, we believe it to have oeen only 
through inadvertence that his name was omitted in her will: and for 
the purpose of doing what we are confident would be agreeable to 
her wishes at the time she made her will, we agree to consider him 
as a Legatee. 

Thus they rectified the mistake owing to which the son- 
in-law would have received no benefit, as his wife had died 
before him. As it was long before the days of the Married 
Women*s Property A<ft, the other sons-in-law came in, with- 
out question, for their share through their wives. 

The parents were both buried in the Ashwellthorpe 
Churchyard, under the shade of a beautiful maple tree, and 
the tomb bears the inscription : 

Sacred 

to the Memory of 

ROBERT COLMAN 

who died Janry. 9th 1807 

Aged 57 years 

As a Husband and a Father 

He in a most exemplary manner 

Endeared himself to his afiedionate family. 

As a Christian he was clothed with hiunility 

And departed this life hoping through Christ 

for a Glorious Resurredion. 
We sorrow not as others which have no hope. 



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ANCESTRY 9 

MARY his Widow 
Died May 7th 1826 Aged 76 
She was beloved and respected hv her 
Family and friends and whilst cnerishins 
An airedionate remembrance of her husband 
She enjoyed a consolatory hope of re-union 
In the mansions of blessedness which the 
Lord Jesus Christ hath prepared for them 
Who love honour and obey Him. 

One fad must be recorded here. It is from this Robert 
And Mary Colman of Ashwellthorpe that the conne6Hon be- 
tween my Father's and my Mother's family springs, for both 
ckimed in them great-grandparents, my Father tracing his 
descent on his father's side through the eldest child Robert, 
and my Mother on her mother's side through the fifth child 
Elizabeth. 

Space will not allow the history of all the numerous 
children to be followed in detail. Two of them are reccM'ded 
by inscriptions on the Ashwellthorpe tomb. 

One is Hannah, who, dying in 1821, aged 33, left the 
record of having; been " Patient under long and Painful 
affli^on, weaned from sublunary objeds, and fervently de- 
siring admission to the presence of her glorious Redeemer." 

The other is John, the youngest of the family, who, 
attraAed it seems by a more roving life than fell to die lot 
of most of his family, took to the sea, and became an officer 
on one of the East India G)mpany's ships. Death came to 
him in early manhood, at the age of twenty-six. Letters, 
which were treasured amongst my Father's papers, tell of 
failing strength when he was in London in July 1820, 
chronicling me fa6t that " my medical friends strongly re- 
commend me to go into the country and ride much on 
horseback. I shall take their advice as soon as possible." 
Perhaps hope buoyed him up against that insidious disease 
of consumption. Anyhow, it was arranged in the following 
month for him to go as second officer on the ^^ Farquharson, 
leaving his native shores at the close of the year for Bombay 



lo JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

and China. The start was not auspicious. From Cowes 
Roads he wrote thejr were at anchor after an " ugly cruise," 
haying encountered " a rattling south-wester ofF St. Alban's 
Head which obliged us to stand back, and we succeeded in 
getting in here last night in the least agreeable weather I 
almost ever experienced." At first his health seemed to im- 

?roye, but about a month later he became rapidly worse, 
lis last letter, dated off the Gipe of Good Hope, March 
23rd, 1 82 1, to his brother Samud, was didated by him and 
signed by a hand enfeebled with weakness, only three days 
before his death, when he knew full well the event was not 
far distant. It tells that '^ with r^^ard to that state of Eter- 
nity into which I am soon about to launch, my mind feds 
perfeAly at ease, being wholly resigned to the Will of Him 
who created me." He gives direftions about the arrange- 
ment of his affairs, and begs his brother ^^ to assuage the 
tears of an aged Mother, and those two Sisters with whom 
I have lived from my Infancy. Tell all my dear Brothers 
and Sisters that I think of them now, with feelings which 
perhaps no other situation could produce." Exhaustion 
alone prevented the enumeration of the ^^ many valuable 
friends of whom I think even now with the liveliest inter- 
est." The Dodor, in breaking the news of his death to his 
brother, wrote that he " never saw one who received the 
Sui^eon's last advice with the same coolness, or met the 
gradual approach of death with equal fortitude." He passed 
away, not unmindfid of those who merited his thanks, giving 
instructions that some of his clothes should go to Jacob 
JollifFe, who had waited on him during his illness, and his 
" thick foul weather suit " to Quarter-Master Harris, an 
old shipmate. 

A few souvenirs of John Colman have been carefully 
treasured, including a gold filagree puzzle ring, brought 
from India, which, passit^ to my Grandmother Cozens- 
Hardy, was given to me after her death, and a miniature of 
him now belonging to my Brother. 



ANCESTRY 1 1 

Of the remaining children two merit special reference in 
connexion with this Memoir, one Robert, the eldest, born 
in 1775 (my Father's grandfather), and the other Jeremiah, 
born in 1777. The latter adopted his nephew James (his 
brother Robert's son), and thus stood in the place of a second 
grandfather to my Father. He was the Founder, and, in 
conjunftion with this nephew, one of the original Partners 
of the business Firm which has ever since borne their 
initials in its title of J. & J. Coknan. 

Robert Colman, who became a farmer at Rockland St. 
Andrew, married Ann MiUs, the daughter of John and 
Mary Mills of Ditchingham, on OA. a2nd, 1799. One of 
their titles to fame rests on the fad that they became the 
parents of eleven sons who all played cricket, and when the 
team, known as the " Colman Brothers," played matches 
they formed an objed of almost unique interest. There 
were, in addition, one son who died in dhtildhood, and three 
daughters, of whom two lived to grow up, so it is little 
wonder if it was at times difficult to find the wherewithal 
with which to feed, clothe, educate and start in life so large 
a family. 

Family tradition has recorded the wonderful tad with 
which the mother, in her quiet way, manacled her tribe of 
boys, of whom many were high-spirited and capable of un- 
limited mischief. Order was considered Heaven's first law, 
and she early strove to inculcate this virtue. At bed-time 
each child was expeded to fold up its clothes and place them 
neatly on a chair, and any ofFencler was ruthlessly awakened 
to remedy the forgetfulness. Her boys were not allowed 
stockings, as it was more than she could do to keep them 
all supplied. One relative has recorded that she heard her 
mother say . that Mrs. Robert Colman " never had her 
mending basket empty but once, and then she said, * Now 
I will go to London' " — ^which she did. 

A graphic pidure of the life at the Pound Farm has been 
given by Mr. Samuel C. Colman, of Peterborough (the son 



12 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

of Samuel G>lman, the sixth child of Robert Q>Iinan of 
Ashwellthorpe), a question from me having ^^ stirred up 
some old memories ' which he wrote down in 1903: 

With regard to Uncle and Aunt Robert G>lman of Rockland, 
[his narrative says,] I have a little bit of early memory which has 
always stood out fiiirly fresh and green, though now exadiy seventy 
years ago. During the winter and spring of 1833 I spent three; 
months in the Rockland home. It happened in this wise. Whilst 
the family were living at Stoke waiting for the opportunity of getting 
into the Poringland Mill house my Uncle and Aunt very kindly in- 
vited me to Rockland, and so, coming then fresh from my early home 
at Ware Park Mill into entirely new scenes, I took more particular 
note of things • . . I have no recollection of my journey there, nor 
any reception, or first impressions. They have quite faded out, so 
my narrative will be the general impressions left on my mind during 
the three months' stay. 

The household consisted of " Uncle Robert,** fifty eight years old, 
a genial kind-hearted man, who managed his farm and ruled his 
house so naturally that I never recoiled his in any way asserting 
his authority, no one having thought or desire for {questioning it. I 
ought to describe his appearance. In figure his son Jeremiah very 
much resembled him at the same age, but his son Edward grew 
remarkably like him in feature at the same period. 

^^ Aunt Robert," as she was called amongst the relatives, would be 
about Uncle's age, but was then very much more feeble; she was 
of very slight figure, also thin. She used to trot about the hotise 
seeing after various little matters, but so far as my memory serves 
the chief work and management of the house was in the hands of 
the two daughters, who were most capable. 

Manr Ann, twenty-four years old, was a gende spirited, kind 
hearted woman, but one whom I very rarely saw after my visit. 
Sarah, twenty-two, was, my memory says, decidedly the stronger 
charafter of the two — the expression ^ rather masterful " describes 
the impression she gave me in those days — ^but the two worked to- 
gether in the most perfect harmony, and they had to work. There 
was a dairy of twelve or more cows, and poultry, etc, much of which 
devolved on them, with only one servant to do the rougher work. 

They are said to have been very proud of the quantity 
and quality of their butter, and another relative, has told me 
Sarah Colman used to rear sixty or seventy turkeys every 



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ANCESTRY 13 

year for the London market, and she said they were as 
much trouble as infants, as they required such careful and 
constant feeding and attention. 

Bamard,[to return toMr.S.C«Colman*sde8cription,]agedfifteen, 
was the only son at home during those three months. A child of 
ei^t was not much of a companion for him, but he was very kind 
to me, and I shared his bed. The one servant I have named. The 
only other member of the household was my Great- Aunt Barnard. 
She was the only daughter it seems of Jeremiah Cohnan'of Wrening- 
ham and Spooner Row, bom in 1747, so was eiehty-four when 
I knew her. She married James Barnard of Great ^luneham, and 
during the latter part of her widowhood lived with Uncle Robert. 
. . . This old lady's bonnet was exhibited in Norwich a short time 
ago. [At the Art Loan Exhibition in 1902, by Mrs. John H. Palmer. 
It is a black crape bonnet of vast dimensions.] I used to see her 
occasionally in a bonnet,so most likely have seen that one. She died 
a month or two after that visit of mine. 

I soon (it appears) setded into the life there. My recoUedions of 
it are very pleasant. I was allowed to do pretty much as I liked. I 
soon got to know my way about, became acquainted with the men 
and boys about the num, and was interested in the horses, cows, and 
sheep, and farming operations generally, so my time passed pleasandy. 
... I have no doubt I came in for some scoldings, and which I 
probably thought I deserved — at any rate they have left no scars to 
be remembered by. I have no recolledion of any exhibition of tem* 
per on the part of any member of the family during my stay, and I 
think we all got as much enjoyment out of life as most do now. . • . 
I ought perhaps to say that on Sunday mornings we went to Great 
EUingham Baiptist Chapel about two miles off. Uncle and Aunt 
drove, and took me with them. The others I suppose walked. I 
think Uncle Robert must have gone to the Rockland farm when, or 
very soon after, he left the Ashwellthorpe home, and remained there 
all his long life. Though the first-born he survived all his brothers 
and sisters. . . . When I was there all his sons but the youngest 
had gone out into the world, but one hSt that ftequendy came under 
my notice in after years was strong evidence that the Rockland fiirm 
house had been a fairly happy home to them, namely the h& that 
whenever circumstances allowed them to meet together in larger or 
smaller numbers they seemed thoroughly to enjoy it. ... I have 
no doubt that in the Rockland home the boys were taught to work. 



14 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

to be self-reliant^ and at the same time helpful to others, and the 
fruit of this training was seen more or less in the lives of most of them. 

The portrait of this " Uncle Robert," now in the pos- 
session of Mrs. James Fielding, suggests that a strong 
determination was one of his charadteristics. He died on 
Jan. 26th, 1867, aged 91, his wife having died before him 
on June 5th, 1856, agai 80. They are both buried in the 
Rosary at Norwich. 

Of thdr children three became Partners in the Firm of 
J. & J. Colman, namely, James, born in 1 801,. Jeremiah, 
born in 1807, and Edward, born in 1808. 



I 



iAoirrt (Uhucui 



CHAPTER II 

HIS GREAT UNCLE JEREMIAH COLMAN 

MY Grandfather, James Colman, as already mentioned, 
was adopted by his uncle, Jeremiah Colman. Of 
the early life of this uncle there is only meagre informa- 
tion. Banning work in the flour milling trade, he went 
to the picturesque little village of Bawburgn, near Norwich. 
He married when twenty-five, an entry in an old Bible con- 
taining records of events in the Theobald family stating : 



Ann Theobald daughter of Jno. and Mary Theobald was 
by the Rev. Wm. Bowman at St. George's Colegate Church 
Norwich to Mr. Jerh. Colman of Bauburgh on Monday Nov. 15 

1802. 

Within two years he moved to Norwich, having bought 
a mill outside Magdalen Gates, the same Bible recording: 

Brother Jerh. Colman bought the Windmill late Jeckall's March 
1804 and removed from Bauburgh to Norwich July 1804. 

The centenary of his first year of business in Norwich 
(1804-5), ^^^^ which his earliest cash-book dates, has 
recendy been celebrated by the Company of J. & J. Col- 
man, all the Employees participating in gifts to mark the 
event. 

In 1 8 14 he moved to Stoke Holy Cross, taking over 
the flour and mustard business carried on there by Mr. 
Edward Ames. At one time paper must have been made 
at this mill, a notice in the ^^ Norwich Mercury,*' of April 
4th, 1767, recording: 

On Thursday died Mr. Denny, Proprietor of the Paper Milk at 
Stdce, near this City. 

IS 



1 6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

In corroboration of this, my Father said he remembered 
hearing that when his great-unde first went to Stoke it 
was a Question whether he should continue the manufac- 
ture ot mustard, or resume that of paper, the former 
eventually carrying the day. 

The origin of mustard-making at Stoke has been 
shrouded in mystery, but recently the following account 
was given me by the Rev. J. C. Girling, he having ginned 
it from his father-in-law, Mr. John Wright of St. Hden's, 
Norwich, a manu&dlurer of bombasine, etc., who daimed 
to have originated the idea, and whose sister had married 
Edward Ames. 

r 

Mr. Girling said he understood that the latter first 
made flour at Stoke Mills, but the loss of a child by 
drowning in the river Tas, which runs through Stoke, 
upset him so much that he closed the mill in consequence. 
After a time he again opened it, this time for the manu- 
fafture of paper, but a visit of inspeftion by the Revenue 
Officer, paper being taxed in those days, so annoyed 
Mr. Ames that he dosed the mill once again. The sub- 
sequent history I give in Mr. Girling's own words, which 
he tells me is ^^ substantially what I heard from Mr. Wright 
in conversation with him one evening/' 

Mr. Wright tol4 his brother-in-law, Mr. Ames, that if he would 
re-open the Mill he would find hini a man who knew how to 
make Mustard, and he would find him Agents (as he was then 

Sing into the Nbrth of England on his own business) to sell it. 
r. Wright told me that he had an interview with Mr. Ames the 
night before he started, and even then he could not get him to look 
at it seriously, but was rather indined to treat the matter as a joke. 
However Mr. Wright carried out his purpose, and Mustard was 
made at Stoke Mills. 

When Jeremiah Colman took over the business from 
Edward Ames in 1814 an entry in one of his business 
books, dated 30th April, recorded that £s ^ ^^* ^^ P^4 to 
the latter for mustard — doubtless the stock*in-trade. ^ The 



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JEREMIAH COLMAN 17 

public was informed by the following notice in the ** Nor- 
folk Chronicle" of May 7th, 18 14, that the business had 
changed hands. 

Stoke Mills, near Norwich. 
Jeremiah Colman having taken the stock and trade lately 
carried on by Mr. Edward Ames, respedfiilly informs his cus- 
tomers and the public in general that he will continue the manu- 
iaduring of mustard, and he takes leave to assure those Who may 
be pleased to favour him with their orders that they shall be sup- 
plied in such a manner as cannot fail to secure their approbation. 

The special reasons which led Jeremiah G>lman to take 
over the Stoke Mills, I am unable to state authoritatively, 
but Mr. Girling believes that the Colmans and Ameses 
were well known to each other, and that at one time one 
of the former was engaged to a Sarah Ames (a daughter of 
Edward Ames), though her death prevented the marriam 
from taking place, but of this I have been unable to obtain 
any corroboration. 

Edward Ames and his two daughters, Ann and Maria, 
moved from Stoke to Great Yarmouth, where in later 
years my Father still occasionally visited them, and their 
names always bring before my eyes a childish recoUedtion 
of alarming looking personages and rich plum cake. Their 
commendation of Rob Roy tartan dresses, which they 
aiFeded, on the ground that they ^* will last for ever and a 
day, and then come in for petticoats,*' is enough to show 
that passing fashions had little to do with their appearance. 

The features of Jeremiah G>lman as they were in later 
life have been preserved in an oil painting by H. Room, 
painted in 1 842, now in my Brother's possession. Those 
who knew him retain a vivid recolleftion of his charaAer- 
istics. Mr. S. C. Colman, his nephew, who knew him 
well, having been at Stoke in the service of the Firm from 
1846-185 1, writes: 

What were his charaAeristics ? Very varied. First, perhaps 
stands his sterling integrity, then great kindness of heart and large 

C 



1 8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

heartedness in consideration for others. There was also a certain 
robustness of character, in some measure perhaps bred of Noncon- 
formity. He knew what he believed, and was prepared in a quiet 
but determined way to carry it out. An illustration of this was 
given when he became Mayor of the City. It was the custom for 
each Mayor when appointed to nominate some Clergyman as his 
Chaplain for the year. On my Uncle's appointment he was asked 
to name his Chaplain. In a quiet forcible way he replied : ^^ The 
Rev. William Brock is my Chaplain." [The Minister of St, 
Mary's Baptist Chapel at Norwich.] This called forth some remon- 
strance, — ^Nonconformist Ministers being hardly recognized by 
public bodies in those days, — ^but nothing could be got from 
Uncle but a re-iteradon of the expression : .^^ The Rev. William 
Brock is my Chaplain." 

Jeremiah Colman was closely connefted with St. Mary's 
Chapel. In 1810 when the adjoining premises were pur- 
chased for the ereAion of a new " Meeting," as the older 
generation loved to call it, he subscribed ^^50 to the fund, 
and in 1832 he became one of the Trustees under the 
New Trust Deed, James Colman his nephew being 
another. 

A tablet on the walls of the Chapel records that: 

For fbr^-five years he was a Member of the Church assembling 
in this place, and for nineteen years discharged the office of Deacon 
with pun£tuality and diligence. 

An interesting glimpse of Nonconformity during the 
Rev. Joseph Kinghorn's Ministry has been given by Mr. 
S. C. Colman: 

From all I have heai'd, [he writes,] I should think Mr. Kinghom*s 
ministry was calculated to make stalwart Bible Christians who 
knew what they believed and why. In his day there were some 
sturdy Nonconformists in Norwich, united in close fellowsh^ 
amongst both Baptists and Independents, who held Mr. Kinghom 
in high esteem. In Mr. Kinghorn's early ministry, the city was 
lighted at night by a few comparatively miserable oil lamps, and 
evening meetings were unheard of. Towards the close of his 
ministry he commenced a Sunday evening meeting, the first ever 



JEREMIAH COLMAN 19 

regularly held in Norwich, and probably after gas lighting had 
been partially introduced. (I can well recoUedt the oil lamps in 
minor streets.) At these evening meetings only the ground floor of 
the Chapel was used, the preacher occupying the box and desk 
under the pulpit from which for so many yean Uncle Cozens 
[whose second wife was Ruth Colman of Ashwellthorpe] gave out 
the hymns. Being as I said the only evening meeting, many of the 
thoughtful ones from other Chapels came to hear the preacher. 
This will convey a little idea of the intellefhud and spiritual diet- 
ing Uncle Jeremiah enjoyed up to the time when Mr. William 
Brock entered on the St Mary^s pastorate in 1832. [After the Rev. 
Joseph Kinghorn's death that year in the 44th year of his Ministry 
at St. Mary's ChapeL] 

One Relative, who well remembers the gig and ^' beauti- 
ful gray horse " her uncle used to drive, always at a steady 
pace, says: 

On Sundays, when driving to and from St Mary's, he kept 
looking to the right and left to see what tired wayfarer might be 
glad of a lift 

Of Jeremiah Colman*s kind-heartedness, joviality, and 
generosity, there seems a consensus of opinion. " Always 
with a pleasant smile,'* a ^^ kind-hearted, generous man of 
high principle, who was universally respefted," is Mr. F. W. 
Harmer*s description. 

His kind consideration for his nephews and nieces, [writes 
Mr. S. C. Colman,] was proverbial both in giving them a helping 
hand and sound, good advice. . • . One fa^ will show the wide 
circle in which he took an interest and amongst whom he was held 
in aflFe^onate esteem, namely that he was called ^^ Uncle Jeremiah,** 
(or more frequently in those days "Uncle Jerry*') by a great many 
who were not really related to him. 

One or two reminiscences from a Relative — ^then a child 
— ^bear out his love for children, and are not the less inter- 
esting for giving a glimpse at customs, departing, if not 
already gone, when Judges arrived in coaches by road, and 
Saint VSentine, specially dear to the hearts of Norwich 



20 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

children, was more highly honoured in that city than prob- 
ably anjrwrhere else. 

St. Valentine's Eve used to be the great annual festival of our 
childhood. All the year round we were preparing for it. Grand- 
parents, Aunts, and Uncles were invited to tea, and hundreds of 
presents were exchanged. Father Valentine was supposed to bring 
them all, but he was never seen. As soon as it was dark, the fun 
began. The front door bell clashed — ^we rushed out, and on the 
door-step found a parcel or parcels, often enclosing verses, (how I 
wish I had preserved them). These were carried indoors, and 
opened with shouts of delight ; and almost before we had time to 
look at the contents, another loud clang sent us flying to the door. 
The mystery of it all I No hands were seen to place the jKurcel, and 
none of the party would acknowledge having sent it. On one 
occasion, I remember a louder peal than usual. When we opened 
the door we found, instead of a parcel, the broad back of dear Uncle 
Jerry, who was seated on the door-step. How we hauled him in, 
and how his dear kiitd face beamed with delight at the joke he had 
played on us ! I think it must have been on that occasion that he 
sent me a set of pink and white tear-things. Even only daughters 
were not loaded with presents in those days, and I treasured those 
tea-things for many years. I do not think I ever had any others.'* 

The other reminiscence refers to a civic occasion: 

One of the yearly events to which, as children, we looked for- 
ward, was the coming of the Judee, to hold the annual Assizes at 
the Shire Hall. The Judge travelled by road, and spent one night 
at Wymondham. The Mayor and Sheriff, the High Sheriff and 
the Recorder went out in their State Coaches to meet the Judge, 
and escort him into the City. The coaches were gorgeous in their 
trappings and liveries, and the footmen behind, with their powdered 
hair and silk stockings, made a fine show. I remember the year 
when Uncle Jerry was Mayor of Norwich. The railway had lately 
been opened between Wymondham and Norwich, ana instead of 
the journey by road, the Judge was to arrive by train, at Thorpe 
Station. I was taken by my Father's old servant, James, to see the 
show. Whilst waiting for the train, my dear old Uncle, seated in 
his carriage, in his robes and gold chain of office, spied me in the 
crowd, and I was lifted up by James to kiss him. A proud and 
happy child was I that day ! 



JEREMIAH COLMAN 21 

Those of the Carrow Workmen who remember him 
when boys at Stoke, tell the same tale of kind-heartedness* 

He was a very homely man, [said one of them J wonderfully fond 
of taking notice of children. He would catch up a child and nune 
it, and give it a penny and let it run away again. 

This same informant, recently pensioned by J. and J. 
G)lman on leaving the Works, unhappily lost a hand by 
an accident at the MiU, and he has tofd how Jeremiah 
G>lman used to visit him once or twice a week afterwards, 
in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and how when able 
to get to work again my great-great-unde, and his nephew 
James, promised to take care of him as long as he lived, 
as they hoped the Firm would last that time. After the 
accident, Jeremiah Colman always called him his boy. In- 
deed " one of my Stoke boys " seems to have been a com- 
mon appellation for many in the village. 

He was evidendy popular with those who worked for 
him, — '^a very good old master, and thoughtful to his 
men," is one description — and none the less so apparendy 
because he was ^^ very careful, always called out if there 
was too large a fire, or anything likely to be an extravagance." 

^Old Jeremiah Colman was an early bird,'' to quote the graphic 
description of another, ^ and I can remember him standing at the 
gate with his watch in his hand saying to men who came late, 
* What time do you call this? ' He lived in the house adjoining the 
Mill, and if he was not at the gate he would be on the look out at 
the bow window. There were not many that came down late but 
what he saw them." 

^But old Mr. Jeremiah Colman was never hard on a man that 
came late," interpolated another. ^ He used to make a bit of a 
laugh of it. He had a good deal of fun about him at times. I re- 
colled he had some rare fun with a man one Sunday morning. He 
fancied there was something v^rong, so he stood on the bridge, and 
watched for Jonathan, who he thought was after the ducks' eggs. 
So when Jonathan came up, he said, ^ What ! have you been after 
my eggs ? * No, Sir ! ' * Oh ! * said Mr. Colman, * then you are an 
honester man than I thought.' In saying this, he hit him on the 



22 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 



hat, which was full of eggs, and the stuff ran all over Jonathan's 
face. The head of the Finn had an eye for business/' 

This last statement seems in keeping with another little 
piece of reminiscence. 

I recoiled once when thejr were ** fying out the water " [clear- 
ing out the mud]) he went and stood by the side of the river for 
about an hour ; and they did more in that time than they would 
have done in a day if he had not been there. When he went away 
he said) ^^ Now I don't care if they don't do any more to-day." 

Jeremiah Colman was alive to the advantages of a good 
education, and as early as 1 8 1 o was one of a Committee 
appointed to establish a Lancastrian School for boys in 
Norwich on the following grounds: 

First: That instrudion in reading and writing, with the 
elements of arithmetic^ and especially the knowledge of the holy 
scriptures, are blessings of inestimable valu>e to all chases of society, 
and which it is the duty of the rich to offer to the poor. 

Second : That by a census taken in the course of the last fort- 
night, with much care and accuracy, it appears that of 1,557 boys 
between the ages of six and twelve years, residing in this city, and 
the hamlet of Trowse, Bracondale, and Lakenham, upwards of 
1,000 are destitute of the means of education, and for the most part 
are in a state of idleness. 

He was also ele<%ed a Guardian for Stoke on the forma- 
tion of the Henstead Poor Law Union in 1835, the year 
after the AA was passed amending the Poor Law Adminis- 
tration and appointing Unions for the better carrying out 
of its provisions. He regularly attended the meetings while 
remaining a guardian until 1 844, and was one of the Build- 
ing Committee selefted for the purpose of erefting a Work- 
house at Swainsthorpe, to meet the requirenients of the 
Union. 

He was anxious to encourage habits of thrift, and a 
window erefted in Stoke Church ** gratefully records the 
Foundation of the Stoke Holy Cross New Benefit Society 



. JEREMIAH COLMAN 23 

By the Rev. John Bailey, M.A«y Vicar of this Parish, and 
Jeremiah Colman Esquire, a.d. 1842/' 

In politics Jeremiah Colman is described as *^ a real old 
Whig," though he seems to have been rather an advanced 
one. The old Poll Books show that in earlier days than 
this the Colmans had strong Whig tendencies. He was a 
staunch Free Trader, was present at the great meeting in 
1846 when Cobden came to Norwich, and seconded the 
resolution passed then in &vour of extending the County 
Franchise, he being Treasurer for the local society already 
formed to further this objeft. Mr. J. D. Copeman relates 
that at the time of the Free Trade Agitation, Jeremiah 
Colman was one of a deputation who went to Sir Robert 
Peel on a question referring to Millers, and on his return, 
when questioned how he got on, he replied, ^^ He taught 
me more about miUing than ever I knew." 

He was one of those who, in conjunction with Mr. J. H. 
Tillett and Mr. John Copeman had to do with starting 
the *' Norfolk News,*' and, at a meeting held at his house, 
seconded the resolution to establish in Norwich *^ a weekly 
journal based on civil, religious, and commercial freedom,^' 
a resolution which had its outcome a few months later in 
the first issue of the paper, on January 4th, 1 845. 

Jeremiah Colman hdd the office ot Sheriff of Norwich 
from 1 845-1 846, at the close of which time Sir William 
Foster said in the Town Council that: 

His urbanity of manner, and his upright condudt durine a long 
life amongst iis, entide him to universal respe£l, and I think I can- 
not better show the good feeling of the city towards him, or better 
tender him our thanks for having so faithfully served the office of 
Sheriff^ than by at once proposing Mr. Jeremiah Colman to fill the 
office of Mayor for the ensuing year. 

So, the proposition being carried unanimously, he at once 
stepped into the mayoral office. Mr. J. D. Copeman says 
he was '^a teetotaller, and always advised me to ' run away 
from the botde,' " and at his Civic entertainments I am 



24 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

told he used to " have a bottle of toast-and-water for him- 
self, and people used to joke him that he would not pass 
his bottle I " This, it must be remembered, was before the 
middle of the nineteenth century, when temperance prin- 
ciples had not made much headway. 

My great-great-uncle moved to Norwich in 1841. A 
fall from his gig about two years earlier, possibly caused 
by a sudden attack of unconsciousness, was probably one 
reason why it seemed desirable for him to be further away 
from the rush and excitement of business life. He lived 
at 41, Newmarket Road. One event there was a burglary 
committed on a Sunday at mid-day while the family was 
at Chapel. The silver, including a Presentation Salver, was 
stolen, causing him to vow he would get no more silver, 
but only plated goods. He received some communication 
that if he would pay a lirnip sum down, and ask no ques- 
tions, he might get the silver returned, but a tfansadtion 
of this kind he could not reconcile with his conscience, and 
the plate was never recovered. 

He died after an attack of apoplexy on December 3rd, 
1 85 1, aged 74, and was buried at the Rosary. His wife 
survived him nearly eleven years, dying at the age of 85, 
on Odtober 23rd, 1 862, having continued at the same house, 
with her sister Dorcas, the widow of William Hey, to 
whom they had given a home for many years. 

She seems to have been kind-hearted and fond of children, 
" a drawer full of toys " being one of the attractions for 
juvenile guests, and also cautious, a lover of Nature, and 
the staunches t of Protestants, if one may judge from ex- 
trads from afleftionately-worded letters to my Father 
written during his travels. 

I am glad you went to the Catholic Chapel, [she wrote once,] 
... I recolle£l going to the same Chapel and really feeling 
[l strongest] regret to behold the dreadful ignorance that pervaded 
the place, and saw an illustration of the Aposde Paul's words when 
he, on Mars Hill, said, ^^ Ye men of Athens, I perceive in all things 



JEREMIAH COLMAN 25 

ye an t90 superstitious! *' I remember we saw a poor old man on 
his knees telling his Beads which were thrown round his neck, and 
it was grievous to me the absorption of this deluded man's mind. 
It reminds me of the little hymn of Dr. Watts, thanking God 
that he was bom on British Ground, and not a Heathen or a Jew. 

In 1 847, when my Father was in the Isle of Wight, 
there came a note of warning from her : 

I hope you will keep clear of the Nadksy for I saw a view of that 
part of the Island when last in London, and it looked to me who 
am not very venturesome a dreadful dangerous place for any to 
venture on, but some persons do I have understood, who perhaps 
like to have said on their return they had been on the Needles. • . . 

Give Papa a challenge for another walk when you will seek out 
some other work to amuse and instruA you. As one observes ex- 
ploring Nature, you may find ^^ Sermons in Stones, tongues in the 
morning brooks, and God in everything." * 

The strong religious side of her nature is revealed in 
manuscript books full of extras from theological works, 
passages written in them by missionaries, or epitomes of 
sermons and addresses which she had heard at Prayer 
Meetings. After her husband's death she was paralysed on 
the left side, but it is remembered still " how bravely she 
used to sit and do fine wool-work with her one free nand, 
and the work ^tened to her chair." 



^ The quotation really runs: 

Finds tongues in trees, boob in the running brooks. 
Sermons in stones, and good in everything. 

Shakespeare: Js TTeu Like It^ A€t II. Scene i. 



CHAPTER III 

HIS FATHER AND MOTHER 

IT was in the home of this Jeremiah Coltnan that my 
Grandfather was broughti up. Fond of children, and 
having none of his own, he had doubtless felt his brother 
Robert could easily spare one of his rapidly increasing 
little tribe. So James, the eldest, was sent to him. If 
Mr. S. C. Colman is correft in thinking this was in 1 806, 
the child would then be only five years old. 

There is a tradition, [writes Mr. S. C. Colman,] that James was 
such a naughty boy that it was about decided to return him to 
Rockland, and have one of his brothers, but that Aunt relented and 
wished to give James another chance. On what trifling incidents 
important events turn sometimes. 

Whatever truth there may be in this tradition the affec- 
tion between the uncle and nephew grew very close and 
abiding, continuing so until the end. 

An adopted niece, Ann Harmer, also formed one of the 
household. Little or nothing seems known of James Col- 
man's childhood, and no light has been thrown on his life 
until the time when he was taking his part in the Business. 
Doubdess he began this early, for when, in 1823, his 
uncle took him into partnership, and the firm of J. and J. 
Colman was thus started, he was only twenty-two. Their 
interests in the profits began at three-fourths and one- 
fourth respeftivdy, but by 1831 they were equally divided, 
the uncle's share subsequendy dropping lower still, and in 
some of the early years, when the margin of profit was very 
small, he often gave the nephew more than he was really 
entided to. 

26 



HIS FATHER AND MOTHER 27 

In 1825 Jsunes Colman became engaged to Mary, the 
eldest child of John Burlingham, of Old Buckenham, and 
of his second wife. She was born on Oft. 24th, 1805. 
Her mother (whose maiden name was Mary Taylor) di^ 
on March ^^ 1 807, at the ag[e of twenty-four, a few hours 
after the birth of her second child, Satah, who afterwards 
married William Taylor. In bitter snowy weather, when 
travelling was a matter of danger, her husband had gone a 
forced journey to Bury St. Edmund's to attend the market, 
but had pushed on as far as the Greyhound Inn at Hopton 
on his way back. There the news reached him, and he had 
to return to a desolated home. The stone over her grave 
in the Burial-ground at Great EUingham bears the inscrip- 
tion, " Of whom the world was not worthy." The little 
baby, so soon left motherless, placed on record in 1881, 
when she was an old lady, that : 

From all accounts my mother seems to have been a superior 
woman, of exalted piety, and considering how very little at that 
time was thought of education, before looo, she must have been 
most persevering in endeavouring to improve her mind. 

When the child was two and a half years old, and my 
Grandmother nearly four, the two litde listers were sent to 
a school at Banham, near by, the account given by the 
younger, not from remembrance, but hearsay, being tfiat it 
was " quite a superior school in those days," and they were 
" gready pitied as being two litde orphans." Afterwards 
they went to a school at Diss, and to yet another before 
setding at home. Their father liked to encourage a sense 
of loyalty, and never allowed them to teU any tales against 
their schools. 

As the two children grew up they developed the deepest 
and most lasting reverence for him. Reminiscences handed 
down through daughter to granddaughter help to give 
some idea of the sturdy qualities of John Burlingham's 
charader. 



28 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

His parents lived at Shropham, wher6 '^ they had a farm, 
a mill, a weaver^s shop, and a grocery and a drapery busi- 
ness." John, who was apprenticed at a mill at Sapiston, 
where somewhere in the Mill it is said he left his name en- 

E-aved, became a miller and a merchant in small seeds. 
ife brought its storm and stress to him. Business was 
uncertain, and on more than one occasion he was unable 
to meet his creditors, the sudden changes leading him to 
exclaim, " I may be a man one day, and a mouse the next'* 
Once when goinfi; to Norwich Market soon after his failure, 
very low-spirited, he was tempted to buy, but felt forced 
to exclaim, " I dare not try it to-day." It is reported that 
at this point he was greatly cheered by a Mr. Fison from 
Thetford, who said, "I'll stand by Mr. Burlingham for 
anything he likes to spend," and went to the Bank, and 
s^d he would be surety to any amount. This confidence in 
the honour of John Burlingham was seemingly not mis- 
placed. For when, after the failure, better times came, he 
determined to repay his creditors twenty shillings in the 
pound. The story, said to have received subsequent con- 
firmation, was that he invited them all to dinner at East 
Harling, when a cheque for the fiill amount was placed 
under the plate of each guest. I have heard my Mother 
express pride that her husband's grandfather should have 
done a uiing " so honourable." 

On one occasion there was a sound of wheels outside 
the pifturesque home situated by the Common at Old 
Buckenham, and Mary Burlingham asked her sister what 
it was. " Only a trumpery baker's cart," was Sarah's reply. 
But the answer was not allowed to go unchallenged. " It 
is by those carts," her father said, gently chiding her, " that 
we get our bread," or " keep the business going " — the 
exaft words having been forgotten, though the memory of 
their intent lingered long. 

Promiscuous callers were not encouraged, and one day 
when the door bell rang, and my Great-Grandfather was tola, 



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HIS FATHER AND MOTHER 29 

in answer to his question, it was ^ Mr. So-and-so, who has 
called to enquire how the Miss Burlinghams are," he re- 
plied, " I won't have any young * How-do-you-do's ' callinff 
to enquire how any one is." Indeed it used to be said, ^* If 
you want to see the Miss Burlinghams you must to to 
Great Ellingham Chapel," where I am told my Grandnither 
did first meet his future bride, for the Colmans of Rock- 
land, who lived only about two miles from the Chapel, at- 
tended there too. This was the Baptist Chapel, founded 
in 1 699, though the building has been renovated since my 
Great-Grandfather*s time, where for many years, after a 
week of pressing business, he used to drive the seven miles 
from Old Buckenham to service on Sundays, putting up 
his horse and trap in sheds provided for the purpose on 
the same plot of ground, as was the custom of those days. 
In his business journeys it is said he used to take the 
Bible, Rippon's Hymn-oook, and Bunyan*s "Pilgrim's 
Progress," as his companions, and he is described as : 

a most energetic, persevering man, and a decided Christian, striv- 
ing to bring up his six children in the fear of God. The learning 
of hymns and portions of Scripture, to be repeated in the fiunily 
gathering on Sunday evening, formed a prominent part of their 
training ; and strid obedience to parental authority was carefully 
maintained. 

This last statement seems borne out by a letter from my 
Grandmother to my Grandfather, after her eneagemen^ 
sending a message from her stepmother (for her father 
had married a third time), that : 

Mama intends requesting, or rather wishes me to request you not 
to play with Eliza [her half-sister] any more as it makes her so ex- 
trem^y forward. 

Eliza was then aged thirteen. 

On his birthdays I am told my Great-Grandfather always 
had the hjrmn sung, " When Thou my Righteous Judge 
shall come,*' and when his children celebrated their birm- 
days, and he gave the toast of the occasion, it was recalled 



1, ,- ^*-# 



30 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

by my Grandmother that he was accustomed to use the 
words, " I have no greater joy than to hear that my children 
walk in truth." When in later years his grandchildren were 
taken one by one to him for the first time, he used to put 
a shilling into the baby's hand, watching if the little fingers 
squeezed it tight, or let it faU, for so, he would say, the dbild 
revealed its character — ^whether grasping or liberal. 

My Father's sister recalls the time when they were both 
young, and used to go with their parents from Stoke to 
spend Christmas Day with their Grandfather Burlingham. 

In mjr young days, [she writes,] we had 2/6 given us on Christ- 
mas morning by our Grandfather, and I think Mr. Cozens-Hardy used 
to give 2/6 to ail his children. I can look backward to old-fashioned 
Christmas Days, when, deep snow or not, we drove 16 miles in our 
open phaeton to Old Buckenham. No sealskin jackets then, but 
shawls and rugs and hoods were quite as warm, but not perhaps so 
stylish. As to work or games on Xmas Day, Grandfather would 
have thought us wicked indeed. After dinner, in the middle of the 
day, off roast beef and plum pudding, the elders got rid of us young 
folks, and gave us fruit to take upstairs to a special room which had 
a fire, where we cracked nuts and jokes, and roasted chestnuts 
till called down for tea, and after that, hymns. I suppose now it 
would be thought dull, but we enjoyed it all greatly, and I like to 
remember it« 

The writer of the above has in her possession a crayon 
drawing of her grandfather by Frederick Sandys, which 
shows John Burlingham as a man of striking physiognomy, 
which seems to have been transmitted to a great-grand* 
child. For a lady who knew him, seeing a portrait of my 
brother Alan in the Academy, by the same artist, drawn 
twenty or more years later, said, " Surely that child must 
be a descendant of old Mr. Burlingham," so struck was she 
by the likeness. 

John Burlingham died on September nth, 1853, and 
was buried in the Old Buckenham Churchyard, leaving be- 
hind him, to quote my Father's words, ^^ an example we all 
shall do well to follow as a man and a Christian." 



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HIS FATHER AND MOTHER 31 

^^A wiser head than my head you might find, but a 
warmer heart than my heart you could not," were my Grand- 
Other's words to Mary Burlingham about the time of their 
engagement. This seems to have been arranged after only 
a short acquaintance. 

^My Aunt High'* [her Father's sister], she writes to him, ^thinks 
that you have been too hasty from the very first. ... I repeat 
again, what you heard me say at first, and many times since, that I 
am much too youn^ ^ were I even 25 I should prefer waiting 5 years 
longer, but I shall leave this subjefl till a future interview.'* 

This interview must have meant capitulation, for my 
Grandfather had only to bide his time tul she was 20. 

Cherished letters which passed between them were found, 
carefully packed away by my Grandmother in a small mustard 
tub, and Uirow some interesting sidelights on the lifeof those 
days. They teU of the days when writing paper was an expen^ 
sive item, when letters were folded and fastened with wafers, 
when postage was heavy, and letters perforce few and far be- 
tween. One was crossed diagonally, as well as at right angles, 
and ended with the pertinent inquiry, ^^Gm you read this?" 
^^ I know you will not think it worth 9^/., therefore I dare 
not send it by post "is in another letter, and when my 
Grandfather adopted a different mode of conveyance it was 
not without its dangers, for my Grandmother wrote in reply 
that " the conveyance for it was rather a dangerous one, 
which I think you will not deny when I inform you that 
letters not infrequendy renmin in papa's pocket for several 
days after they ought to have been answered." 

Household duties, teaching her step-brothers, and visiting 
the villagers seem to have absorbed a good deal of my Granct 
mother's time. " The discordant sound of our box-irons " 
suggests a time before steam laundries were dreamt of. Her 
father is said to have been very particular about his frilled 
shirts, and liked his daughters to do the ironing. Needle- 
work was an important item, and in one letter after a visit from 
home she says she must ^' make amends for lost time at 



32 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Stoke with my needle " ; for though my Grandmother never 
worked in the latter part of her life, and infinitely preferred 
reading, yet samples which she has left show she must have 
been very skilful with her needle in her youthful days. But 
these employments had at times to "give place to our 
Vinegar week, with the exception of the poetry, which I 
must repeat on Christmas Day." Those were the days when 
spinning wheels were in vogue in the villages, and about 
70 years later, in giving a specimen one to my Father, whose 
love of curiosities she well knew, for him to keep "amongst 
the things of the past," my Grandmother wrote that " the 
first sight of it took me back to childhood, when we used 
to see it in the Cottages." 

We are apt to think of our grandmothers as spending 
lives in restful, soothing surroundings, far removed from 
the rush and turmoU of modern life, with aU its conflision 
of engagrements. But perhaps their lives were not less busy, 
although the work was of a different kind. Anyhow, my 
Grandmother spoke of the "multiplicity of our engagements 
for this week " in a letter to my Grandfather, enough to lead 
her to ask him to defer his visit " till next Monday, on 
which day we hope you will take tea with us at^w." The 
letter goes on : 

I mention this early hour because we contemplate a walk to the 
fair afiter tea. I think it is not very unlikely that two if not three 
of my Cousin Taylors will spend that day with us, and probably a 
few other friends. Old Buckenham on Whitsun week is a universal 
scene of gaiety and confusion. We have music from morning till 
night ; and sports of all kinds : you will think I am paying you a fine 
compliment in expe£ting you to derive much pleasure from scenes 
of this kind: but I have not time to give you any further descrip- 
tion ; as I ought now to be engaged ironing. This afternoon we 
exptA to attend a Missionary Meeting at New Buckenham ; to- 
morrow we arc invited to tea at Mr. Euis Palmer's. 

My Grandmother*s bent of mind, even in her young 
days, was deeply thoughtful and religious, as was that of 



HIS FATHER AND MOTHER 33 

Jamw Colman. She was oppressed lest the weatcr oppor- 
tunities — the '^ care and kindness with which she was sur- 
rounded, and the blessing of ^ beloved Parents and friends 
who have watched over and correAed everjr adion" — should 
only lead to greater condemnation. 

But die following remark, [she writes to her future husband,] 
has often been some encouragement to me, ^ that feeling sensible 
of our faults is one step towards amendment.** How earnestly do 
I wish to know this from experience, but I find it to be exaAly 
what Mr. Leslie describes, *' A difficult thing to be a Christian** — 

a belief since echoed bj one who was assuredly no pessimisL 
Her reading was of a serious kind, religious and biogra* 
phical books attnufting her most. I have only heard other 
reading three novels, '^ John Halifax, Gendeman," which 
she thought had too many love scenes in it, and ^^ Felix 
Holt,*' and some other book, read when travelling, neither 
of which met with her approval She had a great love of 
sermons. Before her marriage, referring to some by the 
Rev. Thomas Fulcher (her futvire brother-in-law), she wrote 
that she " rose at four and copied half one of them,** which 
she thought of asking my Grandfather to accept. 

My Unde, Lord Justice Cozens-Hardy, in acknowledg- 
ing a portrait of her, has lately sketched her charader in 
lines worth handing down to her descendants : 

I shall value it as a reminder of one who was always good to me, 
and whose old fashioned ways had a peculiar charm. There is no 
one quite like her now. Canri on " Job " or Bridge's " One Hun- 
dred and Nineteenth Psalm, or Kinghorn's ^* Sermons" would not 
— either together or separately — app«J to her descendants or satisfy 
their longings. The inoral of^ which is very ancient — that as times 
change we change with them. But let us beware lest when we re- 
ject the shell we lose the kernel. 

My Grandmother had much of the Puritan element in 
her chara&er. She was a staunch Sabbatarian. G>oking on 
Sundays was reduced to a minimum, and she never would 

D 



34 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

have bloaters for breakfast on those dajTS, because she said 
^^ they didn't smell like a Sunday." She disliked unnecessary 
show and display. It is she who writes to her future 
husband — and not he to her — pleading fcx* simplicity in the 
matter of her own dress, saying that what he calls only 
" neat " she might think quite the contrary, and that her 
visits to the " distressed cottagers, and hearing their com- 
plaints " make her feel that " every unnecessary expense 
ought from principle to be avoided." " But perhaps I am 
going too far," she adds at the end, in deference to his 
opinion. " Pardon me if it is so." Throughout her life 
she retained a love of subdued colours, and never changed 
her feeling that yellow was vulgar, so much so that, fond 
as she was of flowers, the yellow ones always had to take 
a subordinate place in her afieAions. 

But in spite of this strain of Puritanism, my Grand- 
mother loved to surround herself with things that were 
dainty and lovely. Old China always attrafted her, and 
she liked to have all the little household duties carried out 
in an orderly and attraftive way. One tea service, plain 
coflee-coloured with a gold rim, she specially prized for 
its historic interest. It had been bought by her father for 
use at the Peace Rejoicings which fcnlowed the battle of 
Waterloo. 

A charafterislic that deserves mention was her strong 
and abiding love of Nature. Those who knew her can re- 
call the intense delight wiih which she watched the open- 
ing of the crocuses which carpeted her garden at Town 
Close Lodge, or coaxed into bloom a little soldanella carer 
fully transplanted from its mountain home, or listened for 
the first notes of the nightingale. Or watched the little tits 
come for the dainty morsels spread for them on a table 
outside her drawing-room window, which a grandson had 
arranged for the purpose. It speaks volumes for the 
strength of her Sabbatarian views that even this last had to 
g^ve way on Sundays, not that she grudged the birds their 



HIS FATHER AND MOTHER 35 

food on that dajr, but she did not think it right to let them 
distraA her thoughts* 

Astronomy, too, was a constant interest. Somehow she 
always managed to find out when anything unusual was 
going to happen in the stellar world, and to tne close of her 
life would wander round her house, seeking for the best 
point of observation, at any hour of the night, her relatives 
never beinj^ able to convince her that at those hours bed 
was the safest place for a nonogenarian. 

Meetings between my Grandfather and Grandmother be- 
fore their marriage were not over frequent, in those days, 
when a coach anbrded the quickest means of transport. 
He, too, was busily occupied, so much so that he was 
afiraid this might prove a snare to him. 

I am engaged extensively with business of the world, [he 
wrote to her,] and too apt to have my affediions fixed upon the 
vanities of it, therefore I need a double watch. 

Perhaps a knowledge of the danger was its own safe- 
guard, for there are constant references in his letters to the 
solemnity of life, to a future existence, and the necessity 
of preparation for death. 

Their wedding took place at Old Buckenham Church on 
August 1st, 1826. The invitation from the bride's step- 
mother to the bridegroom's mother seems worthy of in- 
sertion, if only from its contrast to the prosaic invitations 
of the present day. 

The letter is direded in quaint style to 

Mr. Robt. Cohnan, 

Rockland, 
Mrs. C. Atdeburgh* 

Old Buckenham, 

July 26th, 1826. 
Dear Madam, 

Parents are necessarily taught by experience to regard an 
Ualon. fiv.Life as an important step for their children to take; 



36 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

more especiaUy so, perhaps, when it is the eldest of their ofispring 
who is thus about to advance into Society, and become the master, 
or the mistress of a family: thev are solicitous for their individual 
respe&ability and happiness, and they also deem their example of 
no small importance to the junior part of their family: such, my 
dear Madam, is the situation in which you and Mr. Clolman, witn 
ourselves, are at this time placed ; and such, I have no doubt, are 
our mutual feelings : but we hope and trust that the stridt atten- 
tion which has ever been paid to the moral and religious instrudion 
of the young persons about to be united, will not prove fruitless; 
and that their attachment for each other, founded, we have reason 
to believe, on Christian principles, will issue in peace and comfort 
to themselves, and in general satisfadion to their friends. In 
soliciting your and Mr. Colman's consent, James has doubtless in- 
formed you that the first of August is the day fixed for his union with 
our daughter, and that it is the wish and hope of Mr. Burlingham, 
myself and Mary, that you and Mr. Colman will be present at the 
ceremony; for, you must know that, we all intend to accompany 
them to Church. I have written a note to invite Mr. and Mrs. 
Colman of Stoke to come on the preceding evening, and if you and 
they will join us, I think we shall form a wedding party of a 
curious and novel kind ; at all events, they will have but little 
chance of making their escape if they should happen to change 
their minds as they approach the Altar. We hope you will be here 
by eight o'clock, as they wish to have the ceremony over before 
breakfast. 

With suitable remembrances to yourself, Mr. Colman and fiimily, 
in which I am joined by Mr. B., Mary, etc. 

X am, dear Madam, respectfully yours, 

£. Burlingham. 

My Grandfather and Grandmother started in a mg for the 
wedding trip, accompanied, as was not unusual in those days, 
by a sister of the bride, Sarah Burlingham. They visited 
mustard fields en route, and the stopping places included 
Lynn and Cromer. They ended up at Old Buckenham, 
from which place preparations were made for bemnning 
housekeeping in the new home, the wife anxious Test her 
husband should be alarmed at ^' the length of the enclosed 
order for grocery *' (including tea then at eight shillings a 



• . « 






• \\ 



v« ■ * 



lamtA CxrUnan 



HIS FATHER AND MOTHER 37 

pound) which he had to attend to in Norwich, and hoping 
he would erase such things as he ** would consider super- 
fluities," — ^for in those days the question of ways and means 
was one needing their careful consideration. 

Thus they entered on their twenty-eieht years of married 
life, pra^ng that '^ He who fixes the Tot of man may be 
our Guide and Guard even unto death," their happiness 
only disturbed by the husband's frequent absence on busi- 
ness, which seemed to the wife ^^ to give a sting to every 
pleasure." 

They setded first at a house on Dunston Common, my 
Grrandiather up to this time having lived with his unde at 
the Mill House at Stoke, and as the house was unneces- 
sarily large, part of it was occupied by another couple. 
Four years later, in 1830, they moved to a much smaller 
house, known as Stoke Cottage, situated in the village 
street of Stoke Holy Cross, and now used as a litde shop. 
It was here, in the same year, that my Father's birth took 
place. His parents remained at Stoke Cottage until the 
early 'forties, when Jeremiah Colman moved to Norwich, 
and then they took his place at the Mill House, which my 
Grandfather enlarged and improved. 

It seems best at this point to insert some impressions 
of my Grandfather, given by those who knew him, although 
they refer to a later period in his life. The portrait by H. 
Tidey is said by his daughter to be a good likeness, except 
that, having been taken during his last illness, it fails to 
represent his intense vitality and keenness. 

Mr. S. C. Colman, who knew him not only as a relative 
but as an employer, describes him as being : 

about the best business man I have ever been associated with. 
Of medium stature, he had a well knit frame, moved about vrith a 
quick decided step, giving the idea of bodily and mental vigour, and 
quick but by no means resdess eyes. 

As he passed along the various walks of life, I fancy there was 
litde that escaped the notice of his eyes and ears, but he knew how 



38 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

tp use the knowledge so gained to good and useful purpose, • In 
giving instruAionshe was clear without going too much into detail, 
ktting 70U imderstand you were to use your intelligence in canying 
them out. 

In elucidation of this point Mr. S. C. Colman has told 
me that my Grandfather had a great power of seleding 
those employed in the business. Sometimes when he gave 
them a piece of work to do the question was asked, " How 
do you wish it done ?" He used to reply, "That 1 leave to 
you," but he would at the same time watch them carefiilly. 

In expressing censure, [continues Mr. S. C. Colman,] he was 
forcible, without being either hasty or harsh. Ordinarily there was 
a sort of stateliness of mien and character about him which com- 
manded deference, not demanded it — he had no occasion to do that, 
it was naturally rendered to him. At the same time, he could un- 
bend and be most genial when he thought it was called for. To 
give one instance, occasionally he invited the Counting-'house staff 
to dine with him. At such times the master was completely sunk 
and the courteous host only' seen. 

My indebtedness to him is great. I exped it was his kind thought 
for me that took me to Stoke, and four years later it was his pro- 
position that I should be started in business at Marlingford Mills. 

There is no doubt that my Grandfather had exceptional 
business capacity, and this, coupled with a passion for work, 
was all important in developing the manu&Aory with 
which he was conneAed. 

He was a thorough business man and very hard working [I am 
told by one who worked for him at Stoke]. He would peep into 
the Mill at any time, and as soon as the men twigged him, didn't 
they go to work. He was a roguish sort of man, but a very good- 
natured one. 

He is said to have been " always in the office at seven 
o'clock in the morning," the time when the Clerks — ^few in 
number then — ^began dieir labours. 
. The description of the Firm, once elicited from a witness 



HIS FATHER AND MOTHER \ 39 

in die box, that *' they pay to a penny, but they don*t fool 
their monev away" perhaps sums up my Grandfather*s 
position. At least one is glad to feel he was known for 
his honourable dealings as well as for his business capacity. 
A description of him by Mr. Jonathan D. G>peman, who 
worked for the Firm for a time, speaks of his *' sound judg- 
ment and wise head,*' and ^' auiet, calm, everyday perse- 
verance that built up the busmess,*' and after saying he 
was '^ as a father to all his brothers and sisters,** the writer 
adds, *^ I never knew anyone for whom I had a greater 



It was customanr in those days for my Grandfather to go 
himsdf to visit the customers. The graphic description 
given me by Mr. Copeman — this would apply to the year 
1836 — conjures up a pidhire of scenes conneAed with this: 

I never was so free from anxiety or led a happier life, [he writes,] 
as &r as outwards are concerned, than when I was a " Traveller ** — 
scarcely a railroad— -with my horse, trap, and dog, and everything 
fresh to my young brain. Now to my initiation into the arts and 
mysteries of the Commercial Travellers life. Your grandfather used 
to undertake Yarmouth, up to the time I am going to tell you. He 
arranged for me to accompany him, and leaving Stoke at 6 a«m., drove 
over there, mjsilf driving to the Angel Hotel, where commercial 
men usually went. ** Now," he said, ^you will go and attend to the 
business. I am going to spend the day with the Misses Ames " — the 
daughters of the Mr. Ames from wnom they took the Stoke Mus- 
tard and Flour Mills. Continuing he said, " You will dine with 
the commercial men and do as others do, at 1.30 p.m/' The pint 
of wine was the rule in those days. I did not take my share, but 
I took two or three glasses which put much vigour into me, and I 
was enabled thereby to go and knock off the remaining business by 
5 o'clock, and a very good business I did. Your grandfather was 
in the room, and introduced me to a friend of my Father's. We'll 
suppose he foimd me rather sprightly. We then ordered our trap, 
and he said, ** I shall drive to-niRht.'' So driving across the marshes 
to Ade I had a very comfortable snooze, and waking up refreshed 
we chatted over the business of the day, he winding up with the 
crucial question, ^*How did you get on at the Dinner table?" 



40 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

** Well," I replied, "I did as others did." No more was said. The 
wisdom of that silence had an influence upon my whole life. I 
neither ran away from the Bottle, nor did it become a snare to me. 
These little incidents in a man's life elucidate his chara£ler more 
than his more public ads. 



CHAPTER IV 

CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 

1830— 1847 • ^^^^ ^ — ^7 



"T FIND my dear boy quite a comfort during your 
X absence, and I trust he will be increasingly so to both 
of us," were my Grandmother's words to her husband, when 
my Father was not quite two months old. A comfort he 
undoubtedly was, but, as is the way with children, some- 
thing of an anxiety too. " He is more than my com- 
panions can manage, and at times almost a match for me, 
and I am sure we must send him to school," wrote his 
mother, when staying at the sea-side, with her sister as one 
of her companions. The child was then just three and a 
half. Doubdess my Grandmother's frail hodth at that time, 
continuing during many years of her life at Stoke, and 
often necessitating her absence at the sea-side, made it 
more difficult for ner to cope with the high spirits of her 
little son. Mr. S. C. G>lman writes : 

In my childhood I remember her as a confirmed invalid, always 
on the soia whenever I saw her, and dien more than sixty years 
afterwards I knew her much more intimately as a vigorous old 
lady upwards of ninety years of age. 

In those early days any sign of returning health she wel- 
comed ^' with real delight,' so she wrote to her husband, 
in thinking ^' what I shall do for you, and my dear boy,' 
and our poor neighbours." 

An early story about my Father is that one day his Great- 
Uncle Jeremiah wanted to say good-bye to him. After much 
hunting he was produced from the coal hole, but his uncle 

41 



42 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

had to give him the parting kiss on his elbow, that beings 
the cleanest place he could find. * 

Links with the past always had a special attraction for 
my Father, and ** for old associations' sake " was ever a 
strong argument. An incident, given as related to me by 
Mr. S. C. Colman, will show how, towards the dose of 
his life, his thoughts turned backwards to his earliest days 
of schooling : 

One stage of your Father's early education he supplied me with 
himself. . . . We were chatting together on one occasion when 
he said : '^ You would like to biow that I have just bought the 
Porlingland Mill. I saw it was on the market, and I thought I 
should like to have it for old associations' sake, — it was in that Mill 
House your Mother gave me my first instruftion/' 

One or two other children were also received as weekly 
boarders, but the account given by his great-aunt was that 
my Father was " quite the favourite amongst them," sind 
she hoped his mother would soon " perceive much pro- 
gress in his education.'* The arrangement came to an end 
when my Father was about six, as Mr. and Mrs. Samuel 
Colman left Porlingland in 1836 for Norwich. 

Mr. J. D. Copeman has described him in those days as 
" a very amiable child and very nice looking " ; and adds, 
<< through his life I always saw the same simple truthful 
expression of his ftce which charafterized it n*om six to 
eleven years/* 

The following letter, the earliest which I have seen from 
my Father, was written when he was only six. He inscribed 
it outside '^ For dear Mama," while the address ^^ Mrs. 
G)lman, Stoke Cottage," is added by another hand. The 
paper is closed, and fastened with a wafer, and the letter is 
written in remarkably bold clear writing : 

Norwich, November 29th, 1836. 
My dear Mama, 

Here is my little note, I hope you will like it.—- 1 am quite 



> J 



V. i 



\ 



I * 



4. I X 

I 



K' 



. I 



K 



t 



, W 



^i * 



I 



l4 



1 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 43 

well and am going to spend next Thursday at Mrs. Pigg^s to tee 
the Procession. My very best love to you and. Papa — 

From your dear 

Jbrimiah. 

The Procession here alluded to must have been the one 
when the Foundation Stone of the Norwich Yarn Company 
was laid in St. Edmund's, the various grotesque represen- 
tations on this occasion including one of Bishop Blaize — 
Patron Saint of wool-combers. The Standard Bearers and 
Whifflers of the old Corporation formed a link with the 
pasty for until the Municipal Reform Aft of 1 835, and the 
first Town Council elefted under the new law, it had been 
customary for a grand procession, including Officials, Mace 
Bearers, Standard Bearers, Whifflers, and me City Snap ^ to 
march from the Guildhall to the Cathedral whenever a new 
Mayor was eleAed. 

A second letter from my Father, written a week later, 
implies that his conduA at that time was all that could be 
de»red: 

Norwich, Dec* 6th, 1836* 
My dear Mama, 

Miss Thompson says if you wish me to stay till next 
Thursday week, she will be very happy of my company, because 
I am such a good boy. — ^With best love to you, dear Papa, Aunt 
and Uncle Jerry, 

I remain. 

Your affe&ionate Son, 

J. J. COLMAN. 

I am told that this Miss Thompson used to teach my 
Father recitations, possibly while he was at an " Infant 
School Establishment '* at St. Martin's at Palace, conduced 
by Mrs. Pigg, where he seems to have been a pupil by 
1837. '^^ loUowing letter, in answer to one from my 
Grandmother, will snow something of her anxious care 

^ A representation of a dragon. 






44 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

about the education of the little son, who for eight years 
was an only child. 

My dear Mrs. Colman, 

Although I requested Jeremiah to bring his Catechism on 
Astronomy, which he said was the only book he had on the sub- 
jed, it was by no means with the intention of given him lessons 
out of it to get by rote. I quite agree with you in thinking it 
wrong to overburden the memory. It may be needful to get a 

Seneral outline well fixed in the mind, but beyond that, I never 
esigned that it should become the work of memory, for as you 
jusdy observe, he has already quite enough of that sort of employ- 
ment. I have a small book on Botany which would be sufficient 
at first, but if you know of any book on either subject which is 
adapted to convey much information in a simple style, and con- 
densed form. Aunt thinks with me it would de desirable he should 
have the benefit of them. The music lessons shall be attended to, — 
as also undue exercise. — ^The almost entire occupation of his time 
will however alone serve as an eiFedual preventive. . . . With 
respe£b to Mr. C. 

I remain yours most respedfuUy, 

Sarah Pigo. 

I think my Father must have gone straight fi-om this es-^ 
tablishment to study with Mr. John Doman (whose sister 
married his uncle, Robert Colman), riding iti^ daily from 
Stoke to the Tutor's at Norwich. One who had a vivid re- 
collection of often seeing the boy on his pony riding up Bra- 
condale has described him at that time as being *^ such a 
handsome boy, with curly hair, and so English looking." 
I believe my Grandmother was happy in the belief that her 
boy always rode at a steady trot on these occasions, but the 
account given me that " he had a nice cob, and when he 
, put it a-going that had to go,'' seems to suggest some hard 
riding. 

Otuy one or two other pupils shared the tuition with 
my Father, amongst them being Edmund Hamilton Sharp 
and Arthur Pigg- My Father said once, in a speech at the 
Grammar School Prize-giving, that he did not fed specially 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 45 

qualified to speak, as he had not had much training in 
school life, for during the last years his school ^^ consisted 
of three, two, and then dwindled down to one pupil/* 

In those days Mr. Doman was, I am told, a *^ learned 
man," and a ^^ first class teacher,'* though in later days he 
was by no means free from eccentricity. It seems he was 
not eaisily satisfied with his teaching results. In a letter to 
my Grandmother, when mj^^ Father was thirteen and a half, 
he wrote that, though feeling '^perfedlv satisfied that 
Jeremiah's real progress is indisputable,' he has yet to 
qualify it by the statement that **with materials such as 
Jeremiah's (at least respeAable) capabilities supply, and no 
-very conscious carelessness (I would hope no unpardonable 
deficiency of mechanical skill) in working them up, a some- 
what better article ought to be produced," and he r^ets 
that, though the boy is not " guilty of any positive derelic- 
tion in the presentation of the expeded exercises," especi- 
ally of late, yet he needs to learn diat *' to * pass muster ' is 
not promotion, nor is it altogether one and the same thing 
to escape * the cat * and win the laurel." Perhaps it is not 
surprising if the '^ exercises " failed to come up to the ideal 
of the Teacher if the following answer to a fishing invita- 
tion may be taken as a sample of what was expefted. 

Bracondale. 
Dr. Jeremiah, 

That ^* blindness to the future kindiv given" wh. veils 
men*8 eyes fi'om coming ill kept mine closed, tfll long after you 
kft this evening, firom the conspiracy in wh. several of my friends 
have been engaged of realizing the modem fiction of ** the school- 
master abroad by making me ^^nolentem volentem" for to- 
monow at least exchange the angle mathematical for the angle 
piscatorial. We will therefore if you please and Papa and Mamma 
forbid not allow Adbieon to wipe his eyes after Diana Ducking, 
and a little longer retain his humanity. While on your part I 
suppose the flowers real will till Wed. morng., take tne place of 
flnvers rhetorical. By the way were there a Society instituted td 
cultivate the latter wd. you ^ put in " Sot the prize? 



46 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Altho' I desire we $hd. both look upon it as a holiday I think I 
shall not be deemed xinmercifully exadting if I require in addition 
to Wed/s demand, 2 or 3 pages of Slater's Chronology. Good 
night my Dr. boy and let us never forget that the fairest flower 
that springs of Earth must quickly hdt while those of Moral soil 
by Heaven's hand implanted in the heart will bloom eternally in 
the Paradise above. That those seeds celestial, if already sown may 
be ever watered by the Dews of Heaven is the aflfedtionate Desire 

Of Dr. Jh. 

Yr. sincere fd. 

Master Jh. Colman. J. Doman. 

Still, in spite of the troublesome " exercises," my Father 
seems to have enjoyed his time. At least, some time later, 
when he had just lost his father and heavy responsibilities 
were resting on him, his words to an old school-fellow 
were *^ I often look back on those happy days we had to- 
gether, now I suppose twelve years ago." 

Amongst the letters from Mr. Doman to my Father 
was one dated 1846 in which he wrote: 

Very glad am I to hear that your faithful and favourite servant 
still retains so considerate a master. Your evident desire to seo him 
comfortably installed when he left your service gratified me gready^ 
By cultivating ever a kindly sympathy with all that lives what an 
amount of added enjoyment would this world supply ! 

That surely was the best thing which the Teacher could 
impart, the " kindly svmpathy with all that lives," worth 
so much more than the most finished Essavs, and Which 
becaixie, so it seems to me, one of the Pupil's most abid- 
ing charadleristics. 

When my Father first stood as a Parliamentary Gindi- 
date in 1871 he received, in the thick of the contest, a 
letter of 29 pages of minute writing from Mr. Doman, 
subsequently published as a book under the title of 
" Gladstone Examined." It gave his reasons for not sup- 
porting my Father's candidature, but, divergent as their 
politi^ opinions might be, the letter contained the assur- 
ance that its author knew: 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 47 

of no gcDtleman either in our citr or out of it, who in every 
rdationship of life, whether it be puolic or private, more completely 
ooDisiiauids my perfieAly unqualified respedl^and my absolutely un- 
dtsoounted esteem. 



relations as Pupil and Teacher must have ended 
when my Father was about seventeen. 

I do not know how far my Grandfather shared his wife*s 
views of boarding schools, but my Grandmother had a 
horror of what she considered their rough-and-tumble 
ways. Perhaps this was less surprising in the days when 
there was sufficient truth in Dickens's immortal description 
of Do-the-boys Hall to give zest to the satire. Anyhow 
my Father was never sent to one. Doubdess he missed 
something by the absence of that cameraderie which be- 
longs to school life, and he must have been more lonely. 
^ I suppose you very seldom play at Prisoners' Base as 
you lurve nobody to plav with ? " wrote one friend, Horace 
E. Willett, f]x>m School. But whatever the pros and cons 
of the different methods, the plan adopted must have had 
its eScA on my Father, and his keen love of Nature, his 
dose observation of her ways, his fund of reserve, and his 
deep thoughtfulness at an earlv age were in some measure, 
no doubt, the result of his solitary communings. He had 
no brothers, and his only sister, his junior by eight years, 
must have been too young to be much of a companion, 
diough her recoUedion of nim is that he was always very 
kind, taking her long rides and walks, and accompanying 
her to Norwich and elsewhere. 

The anxious solicitude with which his parents watched 
over his developing charafter between childhood and man- 
hood is evidenced by some of their letters. Thus his 
mother wrote on his birthday, when he was thirteen: 

Manyy very many happy birthdays to you my precious boy. As 
your years number onward my anxiety increases that you may 
*^ grow in knowledge — ^in ftvour with God and with man.'' 



48 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

From his father too there came words of counsel: 

The horse I hope will please you. Remember when I was a boy 
I had a donkey, and a pony when a youth like yourself. [He was 
1 6.] Because you are thus favoured take care not to be high- 
minded. 

. . . You are often in my thoughts and your dear Mamma's, and 
other friends who are looking upon you and watching the develop- 
ment of your mind and general charader. We desire your welfare. 
We wish to see you stand well in the situation in the world in 
which Providence may place you, above all we wish to see you 
stand well in the Christian character. . . . Receive this voice of 
warning as it is intended, and with the feeling with which it is 
sent — that is with the strongest afie£lion which a Father can feel 
for a Son. Seek from Heaven, my dear Boy, that which will make 
you strong to perform what is right and omit or forsake what is 
wrong, 

I suppose you are sometimes employed in your garden, some- 
times in your study, and in other places. Take care to be indtis- 
trious — industry is a most valuable quality, without it there is no 
progress made in anything. 

Their boy's frail health was an additional cause of 
anxiety. Though he developed a fine physique, and grew 
to be over six feet high and broad in proportion, yet when 
a boy he had to lie down a good deal, and at times suffered 
much from headaches. 



I V 



I 



,A'""-;/'" 



J 



CHAPTER V 

YOUTH TO MANHOOD 
1847 1 851: AGED 17 21 

MY Father's love of flowers, developed at an earlv 
age, was intense, and remained with him througn 
life. He never felt properly attired without a flower, and 
when his portrait was painted the one stipulation he nuuie 
was that the artist should depift him with a button-hole. 

His garden at Stoke, on the opposite side of the road 
from the Mill House, where in virgin soil he grew his 
flowers and fruit, is clearly remembered by many who were 
there then. His sister recollefts at times getting into trouble 
through a pet lamb, which would Jump over the railings, 
and was with difliculty ejeded. He did the pradical work 
himself, made his own flower sticks, and thought nothing of 
getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning to see after his flowers. 
The first little neenhouse that was built for him cost j{^20, 
and I am told that his great-uncle, Jeremiah Colman, 
thought this a great extravagance. 

My Father's favourite flowers were carnations, pansies, 
cyclamens, auriculas, dahlias and tulips. He remained true 
to his first loves, and liked the double dahlias and the 
British Florist tulips, regarding caftus dahlias, parrot tulips 
and the like as mere freaks. Tulips he studied as much as 
any flower. From 1853, for several years, he kept manuscript 
books containing the names of his diflferent varieties, with 
comments of his own, such as "very fine," "good for no- 
thing," or "awfully black stamens." It was a proud moment 
when, in 1856, he was amongst the prize winners at the 

B 



so JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Crystal Palace Tiilip Show. But he had begun exhibiting 
long before this. When only 1 6, in reporting the Norfolk 
and Norwich Horticultural Society's Show, the " Norfolk 
Chronicle " grew enthusiastic over an exhibit of " Black 
Prince grapes grown in the open air and sent by Master 
J. J. Colman, of Stoke," which, with those of one other 
exhibitor, were described as "amongst the finest specimens 
ever exhibited, raised without forcing." Apples and leeks 
came in for their share of praise the following year, and 
also "melons of superior quality," and irises — my Father 
obtaining the first place in the " Best Colleftion." 

As late as 1891, when he had to propose the health of 
the exhibitors at an Agricultural Show, and after awards at 
Horticultural, Agricultural and International Exhibitions 
had come thick and fast, he said he still had a lively recol- 
le&ion of the first prize he ever won, which was for the 
best dish of carrots, and he did not think any of the sub- 
sequent awards he had gained had given him anything like 
so much satis&dion. 

Shortly before his wedding, in 1856, when the pressure 
of other claims was heavy, after sending " in all pretty well 
60 plants " to the Flower Show, he wrote to my Motiier : 

'Tis a good deal of trouble and cost getting up things for show, 
and I should be strongly inclined to give it up now that I become 
a married man, but having written so much to press people to sup- 
port the Horticultural Show in one way and another, I hardly like 
to desert one's Jirst lovey for 'tis some gratification to help to give 
pleasure to several thousand people. 

But though he gradually gave up exhibiting, he always 
maintained his interest in the Horticultural Society, and fre- 
quently lent his garden at Carrow for the Shows. 

Amongst my Father*s papers was a letter, written to him 
during the year of his Mayoralty in 1 868, the writer apolo- 
gizing for its " imperfedion," as he was not " up to write- 
ing letters." It ran : 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 51 

Sir Pardon the Liberttr but let me as A Cottagehcr in Thorpe 
Hamlet thank you and tnrough you Mn. Colman for the support 
by your purse And the Encouragement by your presence of our 
Rower Show for the mingling together of tne Rich among the poor 
on such days I Believe have A great £ffe£l upon them for the 
better it take away A great deal of the soreness that there is Among 
the poor I wish there were more of such Meetings why not one in 
Every Parish we should understand each other better the poor would 
be all the Better for it we all have Windows I believe we all love 
flowers some more than others no doubt I believe the sight of flowers 
Awaken many seripus thoughts if I can meausure others com by my 
own bushell the truth is I have great fiiith in flowers they keep us 
out of mischief they teach us to study the good and the great God 
for sure he is to be seen in the Beautifull flowers of this Earth if we 
learn to look at them Aright hoping that your example may be A 
Presedent for all future Mayors towards our flower shows I subscribe 
myself one of your prize winners and have the good fortune to be 
one of your Workmen. 

With those views my Father cordiaUy spnpathized. 
How far the letter helped to shape them in his mind one 
cannot sav, but he was ever anxious fary Allotments and 
Cottagers Flower Shows to give scope for, and encourage, 
the love of flowers amon^t artisans. 

But to return to my Father's boyhood. His study of 
Nature (doubtless fostered by his mother) was not confined 
to flowers. Meteorology came in for some share of atten- 
tion. A manuscript book shows that at least from 1 849 to 
1850 he kept very careful records of the temperature at 
different hours of the day, the general direAion of the wind, 
and the amount of rain, noting also such things as a ^' Beau- 
tiful Sunset," " Very high tides and floods at Yarmouth 
(Dec. 29, 1849)," and "Aurora Borealis visible in the even- 
ing. May 13, 1850." In later life a sun-recording instru- 
ment was a great source of interest at Corton, and he 
thought no garden was complete without its rain gauge and 
thermometers. 

Sundry other events he noted in his book, such as ''Larks 
beginning to mount, Feb. i, 1850,'* "Gooseberry leaves 



52 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

open, Feb, 26, 1850," and "Primoses in blossom, March i, 
1 8 50," showing his love for Nature study. The observant 
faculties thus developed never left him. W henever he went 
for a country drive he careftdly noticed the state of the 
crops, the birds he saw, and other things of interest. As to 
birds he wrote during the close of his life, "I have always 
felt a good deal of interest in them, and especially song 
birds." 

Another book, dating from 1 847, notes, to take a few 
examples, the special beauty of the gossamer one morning, 
three appearances of the Northern Lights within five days, 
rough weather which drove some stormy petrels to Lowes- 
toft, and gives a detailed description of the beauty of an 
eclipse which impressed him greatly. Although not claim- 
ing to be a " scientific correspondent," his interest in astro- 
nomy was shown as early as 1 848 by a letter to the "Norfolk 
News," clearing up some difficulties raised in reference to an 
eclipse of the moon. The last entry in this note-book is the 
following, dated 1856. One can sympathize with Ann 
Scales in her astonishment at the vagaries of sea anemones : 

A curious instance occurred in our tank the other day. . . . One ane- 
mone brought from Ilfracombe, and which had been in the tank for 
nearly 14 months, was looking badly, and the servant (Ann Scales), 
the only person in the house, thought it would die, but to her great 
surprise on the following morning it had divided into two, and both 
specimens are now looking well and healthy. The specimen was 
not a perfed one, but had looked ever since we had it as if a small 
one was growing from it, but I had not observed that this had altered 
at all ever since it had been in the tank. 

An aquarium was quite an interest to my Father, and he 
kept a little one for many years. During a trip to Devon- 
shire in 1 855 he had colleAed a good many anemones, care- 
fully sending some to an aquarium at the Norwich Museum, 
where he reports they were " a source of very much interest, 
for they were of course novel in the extreme, and people 
didn't know what to make of them." Other kinds ot wato: 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD si 

life also interested him, and at one time, largely through the 
suggestion of Mr. Frank Buckland, whom he knew person- 
ally, he had tanks fixed in a greenhouse for breeding trout, 
the fish being turned out into the river when they grew big 
enough. Silkworms and butterflies were amongst his early 
interests, the Workmen at Stoke sometimes taking him 
specimens of the latter. 

The study of Man as well as the study of Nature at- 
traded my Father. He read extensively, and made extrads 
from the books he read, thus colleding wise and witty say- 
ings on a variety of subjeds, and entered his criticisms about 
Aem. He also made a note of any pieces from books or 
magazines he was likely to want to refer to again, and by 
entering these under alphabetical headings he was able to in- 
dex his reading for future use. A list of books, with some 
comments, from a manuscript book, dating about 1850, will 
give an idea of the kind of reading which attraded him. 

"Critical Essays,*' by T. B. Macaulay. 

"The Last Days of Pompeii*' — ^"one of the most beautiful 
romances I have ever read.'* 

" The Protedor," by J. H. Merle D*Aubign£ ; from which mv 
Father marks the quotation, " Freedom is as necessary for the people 
as for the peers,*' and says at the end, ^ This is a very interesting, in- 
strudive and valuable Dook; I have read it with great pleasure.** 

"Life of Sir Walter Scott," by J. G. Lockhart. 

"'Guesses at Truth," by Two Brothers. 

"The Work of the Spirit,** bv W. H. Stowell. 

" History of the Bank of England," by J, Francis. 

" Essay on the State Church,** by Baptist W. Noel. 

"Poetical Works,** by H. W. LongfeUow. 

" Adventures on the Western Coast of South America,** by John 
Coultem, described as " A nice interesting light book for reading at 
a few odd minutes.** 

" History of Modern Philosophy,*' by J. D. MorelL 

"An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Na- 
tions,** by Adam Smith. 

" Le6lures on History,** by Dr. T. Arnold, in which after giving 
ui abstraA of it he says : " A very fine book, remarkable for the 



54 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

comprehensiveness of its views — and for the somewhat extraordin- 
ary admissions for a Conservative Churchman to make.'* 

^^ Lives of the Lord Chancellors," by Lord Campbell. 

"The Fairfax Correspondence": Memoirs of the Reign of 
Charles I, by G. W. Johnson, Esq. 

** Memoirs of Sir T. F. Buxton, Bart." 

" History of England," by T. B. Macaulay. 

The manuscript bcxjk ends with a list of books recom- 
mended to him, including those on history, travel, science, 
and philosophy. 

Thus my Father was gradually preparing himself for the 
part in life he was called upon to play, and much of his read- 
ing must have stood him in good, stead when he, too, had to 
take his share in aftive political life, and attempt to solve 
the difficult and serious problems of his own day. 

His knowledge, if not encyclopaedic, seems to nave been 
considered so by some of his relatives. A juvenile cousin, 
for instance, writes: 

Having a few questions to ask you, I thought I would avail my- 
self of yoiur kind permission. First, I will ask you what is the mean- 
ing of the expression, ^^ The Sun is drawing water " ; also the cause 
of the Meteors (or running stars) ? What is the reason the stars show 
light, and what is the Derivation of the word Yesterday, and the 
meaning of its Derivation ? 

When only seventeen he wrote to his schoolfellow, 
Edmund Hamilton Sharp, suggesting that they should ex- 
change essays for mutual criticism. The plan soon fell 
through, the latter having to plead that scholastic duties 
absorbed too much time. But the idea is interesting, and his 
friend's suggestion that the discussions might embrace such 
subjefts as the ** Explanation of some Phenomena of 
Nature," or " What is the legitimate province of human 
governments ?" show that the essays were not to be confined 
to trivial subjefts. It would seem, one feels, my Father was 
judging himself severely when he wrote in later life that " in 
truSi I cannot say I ever had a taste for study myself." 
Nor, probably, was he quite fair to himself when he said. 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD $5 

at a meeting of the National Home Reading Union, that 
in his younger days he belonged to an Institution, the mem- 
bers of which had to rise at half-past six in the morning, but 
what they were to do was not very well defined, and though 
he came off third best, and got an edition of Thompson's 
^ Seasons," he thought, if at that time there had been some 
scheme for the utilization of the time by reading useful and 
desirable literature, perhaps those mornings might have been 
spent with greater advantage. 

He must certainly have utilized much of his spare time 
in study. In 1 8^55 for instance, soon after his Father's death, 
when die burdening weight of business was heavy on his 
joung shoulders, he was having lessons in French, though, 
as he wrote : 

I certainty haven't got the gift of tongues in that sense. ... I 
sometimes get cross with mjself for not knowing mjr lessons better 
when I have studied them. 



A year or two earlier he had inquired about some Greek 
books, with a view to resuming his studies in that language, 
and in the year of his marriage he certainly started learning 
shorthand from my Mother, who had learnt Holdsworth and 
Aldridge's system from her father, though he did not go on 
fer with this. 

In a Diary, kept by my Father between 1848 and 1854, 
there occurs this note, under the date of March 1 5, 1 849 : 

« 

I became this evening a member of a Societv called ^^ The Nor- 
wich Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society '' in which each 
member in turn reads a paper, and the rest are at libertv to discuss 
upon it; the subjedl to-night was California by Jno. Alexander: I 
essayed to get upon my legs but though I got to the end was des- 
perately flabbergasted. 

This was doubtless the discussion class to which he re- 
ferred in a speech in 1 886, where, he said, the members used 
to settle all sorts of questions, such as the currency, in one 
night, quite to their own satisfaftion, but as years elapsed 
they found no doubt that political questions were not always 



56 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

so dear and so easily determined as they had imagined. But 
if the conclusions arrived at were sometimes immature, the 
energy and enthusiasm of the members was at any rate com- 
mendable. 

Six months after joining the class my Father*s turn must 
have come round, tor he then read a paper on Lamartine. 
It gives evidence of careful preparation, and was written, it 
shoidd be remembered, very soon after Lamartine's extra- 
ordinarily rapid rise and fall, and when hopes were still enter- 
tained of a more brilliant future for him, for it vsras only eigh- 
teen months since the Revolution of 1848, resulting in the 
fall of Louis Philippe, and less than a year since Lamartine, 
with a waning popularity as one of the Provisional Govern- 
ment, had to give way to Louis Napoleon, who was eleded 
President, and later Emperor. The paper treated of Lamar- 
tine as an author and a statesman, sketching both his views 
and his work. Special charaAeristics are noted, such as the 
** pacific tendency" of his policy, his love of liberty, his 
confidence in the people, his calmness in misfortune (as con- 
trasted with the " insufferable egotism which is noticed in 
some statesmen " of that day), and his belief in the " on- 
ward progress of events " — charaderistics which drew forth 
an answering chord in the writer's heart. Space will not allow 
many quotations, but it is interesting to note my Father's 
views in those early days on the duties of citizenship. Re- 
ferring to Lamartine's having devoted « his life, his energy, 
and property to the service of his country," the writer adds: 

Allow me to remark before passing on that I claim no merit to 
Lamartine for his patriotism : I hold it to be a man's bounden duty 
to love his country; to do what he can for its welfare. 

In these days, when the word patriotism is in danger of 
being narrowed down to military service only, it is well to 
note that my Father obviously used the term with a wider 
meaning — the gift of one's best for the good of one's 
country. 



J 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 57 

Another entry in my Father's Diary, dated March 29th, 
1849, 1'ccords: 

The Essay at discussion class was ^^ Can the immortality of the 
soul be proved apart from Revelation ?** by Arthur Pigg : he an- 
swered die question in the affirmative, which I opposed. 

The foUowinfi; year he wrote a paper for the Rev. G. 
Gould's Bible Ckss on *' Proofs of the Immortality of the 
Soul derived from the Constitution of Nature/' in which 
he endeavoured to explain the faft that ^^ it has been in all 
ages and countries the belief of some of the best and noblest 
men that 'the soul is immortal/ '' though in many instances 
this belief has been apart from any special rev^ation, and 
^ derived solely from the proofs which reason and nature 
were thought to afford.*' The paper suggests various lines 
of argument^ such as the fundamental difFerence between 
the body and the soul, so that the destrudion of the one does 
not necessarily imply the destruction of the other ; that it 
seems '^ a part of die constitution of Nature that virtue be 
rewarded and vice punished," a consummation implying; a 
future life ; that as man has a mind capable of judging be- 
tween right and wrong, and is therefore an accountable 
being, it pre-supposes the existence of an infallible Being 
to whom he wUl have to render an account. Finally an 
analogy is drawn from the chrysalis and the butterfly, the 
seed and the corn, to show there is a £dlacy in the argu- 
ment that death must by its very nature mean destruftion 
of the soul as well as the body, and suggesting that it may 
well be that the spirit which is immaterial cannot rise to its 
full power while clogged with a material body, and that 
^ death so far from being necessarily our soul's destruftion 
is, on the other hand, essential to our entrance on im- 
mortality." 

A further paper, written for the same Bible Class, was 
on '^ The efkA of Sin in destroying Man's relation to God 
and to his own compound Nature ; ' and in March, 1850, 
he read a paper, probably before the Young Men's Mutual 



58 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Improvement Society, on " What are the Remedies for the 
Social and Political Evils of Ireland ? " It is evident my 
Father was not easily daunted in his choice of subjefts. 

This paper on Ireland was written soon after the land 
was devastated by the terrible £miine and fever, which 
came as a sequel to the failure of the potato crop in 1 845, 
to be followed by evidions and wholesale emigration ; and 
not long after the disturbances on the Continent had found 
their echo in an attempted rebellion on Irish soil. My 
Father had evidently followed these events with keen in- 
terest, and, when O'Brien and his compatriots were lying 
under sentence of death after the state trials, he prepared 
a letter for the " Norfolk News," pleading for a mitigation 
of the sentence, on the ground that capital punishment was 
"inexpedient and unjustifiable," especially for a political 
offence, and further condemning the barbi-ity of the form 
in which the sentence had been pronounced. 

The disturbed state of Ireland, when my Father was 
writing his paper, made it only reasonable, he said, to in- 
quire if there were not some cause for it, and common 
sense gave the reply that it was due in part at least to the 
evils connefted with past legislation, spreading over a long 
period of time, " either too much, or too litde, or legisla- 
tion of the wrong sort." The writer gives a risumi of the 
Irish story, beginning as early as the seventh century, 
during which time " whilst other nations were enveloped 
in superstition and darkness, and whilst England herself 
was bowing before the hard Saxon rule, Ireland was free, 
and contained within her borders, dimly perhaps but yet 
surely, the first dawning streaks of civilization and religious 
freedom," and then, after reminding his hearers that " our 
ancestors went to Ireland for no just purpose," he sketched 
in broad oudines her resdess and stormy history. 

Then comes a recital of some of the flagrant abuses, 
with su^[estions for their remedy : 

I St. liiat England should treat Ireland as an integral 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 59 

part of the United Kingdom, and not as an inferior, 
didating to her what laws she is to have, or to do without. 

2nd. That the intelledual capacity of the Irish is as high 
as that of the English, if developed, and ^^ philanthropy 
might well employ itself in giving education, and raising 
die condition of the peasantry." 

3rd. That " tenant-right " should be recognized by the 
legislature as well as " kndlord-power," and that a check 
should be put on the power of ejedment at a moment's 
notice, and some right of compensation for improvements 
given to tenants. 

4th. That an enormous amount of undeveloped country 
still remains in Ireland, and that the introduction of Eng- 
liA enterprise, capital, and skill to dired the energies of 
Ac Irish peasantry in this direction might well be en- 
coiiraged. 

5th. That " Absenteeism *' is one of the " mighty evils 
rf Ireland," the majority of owners never visiting the land 
which supports them, or, if they do so, only " for the sake 
^ shooting or salmon-fishing, and *^ caring nothing for 
the welfare of the peasantry, whom they might at a mo- 
flJcnt sweep away." 

6th. That the monopoly in land is " the root of Irdand^s 
wil," and that the laws of entail and primogeniture, by 
which the land was kept perforce in the hands of the lineal 
^i^scendant of a family, though he might be an idiot or a 
pmbler, so that the owners of land were comparatively few, 
'deeded alteration; and that though the Ad to Militate 
^c sale of encumbered estates might do much good it 
Would not be sufficient to remedy the evil. 

, 7th. That Roman Catholicism could not but be con- 
^dcred one of the evils of Ireland by the writer, believing 
^ he did, that only " a religion free from the priesdv 
despotism of Popery, in a word, the religion of the Bible ' 
^uld save men from becoming; mere automatons, and raise 
them to the noblest liberty of conscience and aftion. 



6o JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

8 th. But in spite of his own Protestantism, he named 
as another evil and injustice the establishment of a Protest- 
ant Church in a country, taxed to support it, though the 
vast number of the people belonged to another Church ; 
and he wished to see it freed from State control. 

9th. That the Poor Law, though he could not regard 
it as the means of regenerating Ireland, might yet be a 
stepping stone to some wide and comprehensive measure. 

Other subjeds would have been discussed had time 
allowed. 

I might go on for some time longer, [he wrote,] in considering 
the abolition of the Cotter-tenancy, and the creating instead of a 
peasant proprietary ; I might advocate Universal Suffrage ; the 
Employment of the Revenues of the Church for some efiedual 
means of elevating the labourers ; the abolition of the office of 
Lord Lieutenant ; or many other subjeds. 

In conclusion, having " endeavoured to show that Ire- 
land's woe rests on the head of England ; that our mon- 
grel policy of treating her neither as an equal nor a bar- 
barous nation has galled her to rebellion," he still looked for- 
ward to the time when her woes might be healed by " men 
who will rise superior to all minor difficulties, men who 
will meet the crisis, and not evade it," and thus bring about 
" the happiness, prosperity, and regeneration of Irdand." 

Much in the paper strikes one as curiously modern ; 
for many of the same grievances were still pressing heavily 
when my Father had to take his share, many years later, 
as a Member of Parliament, in the attempt to mitigate the 
troubles of the Sister Isle. 

Notes for an essay written about 1851, were on "The 
Literature of the Present Day," the author dividing the 
subjed: into sundry branches, and giving his opinion on 
each, but space forbids any extrads. 

A litde earlier he had written a short paper on " The 
Nineteenth Century," " with the view of forwarding it to 
some magazine, but this idea was not carried out." 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 6i 

In this he seems to have 

. • . dipt into the future, fiur as human eye could tee ; 

Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that could be.^ 

May we not then from the past, [he writes, after detailing some 
of the wonders of applied science,] learn the lesson to consider 
nothing impossible ? • • . Science and philosophy is at present far 
from its limits. . . . Why should not light be made subservient to 
oar purpose as well as electricity, and why may we not command 
the wind as we now overcome the power of the tide? 

He rejoiced that the nineteenth century had seen *^a 
vast breaking up amongst the old forms of prejudice, caste, 
and privilege, which have long triumphed over both mind 
and body,** and which were beginninfi; to give way before 
" the new and only true nobility which declares that * the 
mind *s the standard of the man.* ** But there were perils 
to be guarded against. 

We have said, [he continued,] that men must think for themselves, 
bat alas! how few really do so. The literature of our day as* a 
whole is fisur from conducive to the needful habit of thoughtfulness. 
If men have such a disposition 'tis in spite of the atmosphere which 
sorrounds them instead of being produced by it. This is not as it 
should be, — we need some more Buders,Bacons, or Newtons. Want 
of thought and stability, we think, is the prevailing fault of the 
fiterature of the present day. And again, of those who profess to 
think, have not they often determined what the result of their 
thought shall be ? nave they not sometimes resolved to gain the 
reputation of ^* genius" by disbelieving what men generally believe? 
Is not much of the scepticism and inndelity of the present day to 
be traced to thb source? Philosophy, searching thought, will do 
much, but, as exclaims a talented writer in the ^* Edinburgh Re- 
Tiew,** ^' Alas I when will men learn that one of the highest achieve- 
ments of philosophy is to know when it is vain to philosophize? " 

The paper ends with an earnest appeal to young men : 

^Philanthropy calls for you — patriotism calls for you — science 
calls for you to reap her harvest — literature calls for you to come 

1 Tennyson: ^ Locksley Hall," lines 15-16. 



62 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

and stamp your best and noblest thoughts on her," and thus might 
they help to give a high charadier to ^^ the most glorious, the most 
spirit-stirring, the noblest and best century the world has ever 
seen. 

In his Journal, dated Jan. 7th, 1851, are notes on the 
same subjedl. 

But oh ! how vast the events of the first half of the nineteenth 
century. Never has the world before seen such an one. May it see 
many such for its good things and none for its bad,' Men in it have 
learnt the meaning of the word liberty, and are beginning to appre- 
ciate the gloryi^^ of war. They have learnt that there is over all the 
world a bond of brotherhood, not a league of enmity. Politics, lit- 
erature, science, commerce, aye, and we trust religion too, have 
advanced. But — ^^ how much is to be done.'' The world will need 
the full adion and power of many mighty minds before it can reach 
perfection: and it will never reach it till those mighty minds sub- 
jed themselves to, and work under, the will of God. 

Another year has opened on my life. I feel how little I have 
done in the past [compared with] what I ought to have done, and 
how much I have left undone. I would mourn it, but still look up 
to my Saviour for his counsel and guidance. May His example be 
ever before me, teaching and leading me to higher and nobler ends. 
May I be enabled to do my duty and God's work in all situations 
in which I may be placed. It may be that I shall not see the open- 
ing of another year — but oh ! my God, whether my course here be 
long or short, may I in the whole of it be guided by Thee, serve 
and love Thee here, and be preparing for a blissful eternity. 

I think it must be already apparent that there was a 
serious thoughtfulness in my Father's charafter, developed 
at an early age. The Journal which he kept between 1848 
and 1854 — the latter part only fragmentary — gives further 

flimpses into his inner life during that time, when he was 
etween eighteen and twenty-four years of age. Much of 
it is taken up with accounts of sermons, comments on por- 
tions of Scripture, and the solemnizing thoughts which 
come with an opening year — this revelation of his outlook 
on life being interspersed with the mention of sundry every- 
day events. 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 63 

One extraft from it must here suffice. 

1849. Jsm.30th. 119 Psalm, 169-1^6. 
God's fatherly goodness and care over His children is indeed 
Toy great. He teaches them what is His will, and guides them in 
the performance of it, so long as they will submit submissively to 
Him. He will do all for their good. Through the stormy scene 
of life He can lead them uninjured and unharmed. Who would 
not, with meekness, bow before, and praise, such a God ? Enable 
me, oh Lord ! to do this in sincerity and truth i and so, guided by 
Thee here on earth, may I at last be led by Thee into the realm of 
happiness above. 

It is clear that at that time he was not free from doubts 
and fears. But these do not seem to have centred round 
the why and wherefore of life, those inscrutable problems 
which seem at times to defy solution, and can only be 
carried to the region of faith. Rather they centred round 
himself, arising perhaps from an over-sensitive introspec- 
tion. Once again it was the old problem : 

How very hard it is to be 
A Christian ! Hard for you and me, 
— Not the mere task of making real 
That duty up to its ideal, 
EiFedling thus, complete and whole, 
A purpose of the human soul — 
For that is always hard to do ; 
But hard, I mean, for me and you 
To realize it, more or less. 
With even the moderate success 
Which commonly repays our strife 
To carry out the aims of life.^ 

His was not fearfulness about "God's fatherly good- 
ness," ** His power and providence," or " the saving power 
of Christ," and "His boundless love." Rather it was fear- 
fulness about his own " wasted talents and opportunities," 
and " manifold transgressions," lest, forgetting " the utter 

^ Browning: ^ Easter Day," lines 1-12. 



64 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN T3 

nothingness of human power/' he should trust in himself '^ 
alone. ^ 

There was one to whom he could impart his doubts and ins 
difficulties, whose ready, kindly sympathy seems to have 'xi 
been given unreservedly. This was the Rev. William :;.i 
Brock (afterwards Dr. Brock) the Minister of St. Mary*s iz: 
Baptist Chapel, in Norwich, to whom my Father was greatly m 
attached, and of whom he wrote at the time of his death in t:; 
1875 that "he was a man the world could ill afford to ::x, 
lose." . It was a great grief when, in 1 848, Mr. Brock ex- *:; 
changed St. Mary*s for Bloomsbury Chapel in London. ^ 
When the young people of the congregation presented :\ 
Mr. and Mrs. Brock with a clock as a farewell gift, it fell ;(;, 
to my Father's lot to make the presentation — an ordeal ^ 
which seems to have weighed much on his mind. His ;s^ 
great-aunt, Mrs. Jeremiah Colman, writing at the time, ^| 
said: 






4 



1) 



I was very glad to hear you got throiieh the presentation of the 
time-piece, if not to your own sadsfiEi^on to the satis&dion of 

others, and this you will say is of the greatest importance. I can ^* 

quite [understand] your pertiu-bation at the prospect of what you . 

had in hand, and also can quite enter into your feelings when it ' 

was over, and no wonder, at a first attempt. ;^ 

In rough notes for this speech, amongst my Father's 
papers, is a sentence refledting, one feels, his own sense of 
gratitude to the Minister who was leaving : i] 

Most of us I trust can look back with feelings of gratitude and '^ 

delight on seasons, whether they have occurred in private when ^ 

you have been in the domestic circle, or in public when you have >; 

been in the pulpit, when you have been the instrument through i 

the Grace of God of imparting spiritual comfort to the drooping and ; 

despondent mind. To those seasons we would oft refer, and doing , 
so would remember the kind and gracious Providence which 
brought you here. 

My Grandfather and Grandmother were accustomed to 
attend St. Mary's Chapel, where my Father seems to have 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 65 

been a veiy regular attendant, at the week-night services as 
weO as on Sundays. They were both much interested in the 
Chapel, and it was largely through my Grandfather's instru- 
mentality that the Sunday Schools were erefted on the ad- 
joining land, he buying the cottages on that site for this pur- 
pose, on the understanding that the building should be b^gun 
as soon as it was considered feasible. They used to dnve 
into Ndrwich on Sunday mornings, not infrequently taking 
back with them a Preacher for the evening service at Stoke. 
On Conununion Sundays, as that Service was then held in 
the afternoon, they used to bring their dinner with them, 
and eat it in a room at the Woolpack Inn, in Muspole 
Street, St. George's Plain, my Aunt still having a youthful 
recoUe^on of chicken dumplings as one of the dishes. 

On Sunday afternoons my Father had a dass for boys at 
Stoke. This was certainly meeting in 1 849, an entry in his 
Journal of January 28 th recording: 

My Class this afternoon. 9 of them came, and we spent an in- 
teresting, and I hope profitable afternoon. 

Other records were less encouraging: 

Had only 2 bojrs to my Class this afternoon. . . 
Dined at Newmarket Road • • . Came home for my Class, but 
there was no one there. 

But perhaps the results were more deep and lasting than 
he realized. For a letter reached my Father in 1889 re- 
cording the death of one who for ** over thirty years had 
been a most thoughtful and earnest Teacher " in a Sunday 
School, and who was " followed to the grave by many of 
his FeUow-workmen and Teachers, one and all expressing 
the highest regard for him," and he had been one of the 
little band meeting in my Father's class at Stoke. The 
writer went on to record how, more than thirty years 
earlier, the boy had found his wav from the village to the 
city of Norwich, and how " but tor the early impressions 

F 



66 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

made upon this young lad'' at the ^'Country School, he 
might have floated into our City a pest and disgrace to 
those with whom he was associated/' 

It would be a mistake to imagine from what has been 
said that my Father's charafter had no lighter side to it. 
Fortunately for him he had that gift of the gods — a saving 
sense of humour. A boyish love of merriment seems to be 
revealed in legends of his hiding himself near the entrance 
to the Mill to snowball the Workmen as they returned to 
work; and "full of fun" is the description I have had 
from one of them of my Father in those days. A few 
lines from his pen, taken from an account written for the 
" Norfolk News " of the Manchester Exhibition of 1857, 
wiU show that the comic scenes of life appealed to him 
then, as indeed they always did: 

The Prince, with his suite, having marched through the build- 
ing, the barriers were removed, and then followed a rush to the 
refreshment room, and a scene such as ^^ Punch's " pencil alone 
can describe. Imagine scores of little tables, with plates, and knives 
and forks, and people, hungry as hunters, keeping up a perpetual 
ringing of bells, and call of ** waiter," ** bitter beer,** "fowl," 
" beef," etc., etc., the poor bewildered waiters rushing about in a 
frantic state, giving you a botde, and forgetting to draw the cork, 
or two glasses for half a dozen people ; champagne and sherry in 
hock glasses or tumblers, and sde and porter in champagne and 
sherry ditto; imagine first Pater Familias rushing away with a 
knife and fork in one hand, and carrying a chicken by its leg in 
the other, to his hungry spouse; second ditto, able to get a bottle 
of porter and one glass for his party, but no cork-screw, knocking 
off the neck, and receiving the contents of the bottle quicker than 
he wished or expe£ted; third ditto, bringing a tribe, and waiting 
roimd a table which a party was leaving, so as to seize the chairs 
almost before they were vacated ; fourth ditto, of a meeker turn, 
going away unfed and in utter despair! Such and similar scenes 
give a notion of the refreshment room. 

During the time that has been passing in review my 
Father was getting his training in the business which his 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 67 

great-unde and his father had built up, and which he after- 
wards did so much to develop. He seems to have left 
Mr. Doman's in 1847, ^^^ ^^^^ helping in it by the close 
of that year, and was certainly very closely conneded with 
it by 1 850. In answer to a question as to my Father's work 
in connedion with the business in those days, Mr. S. C. 
Colman replies: 

A question, or questions, which must be answered with much 
tndefiniteness. All was so very gradual, though also in some re- 
spe£b rapid. The Acuities which led him to notice and admire the 
▼enr beautifiil markings and shades of colour in individual flowers 
and blossoms, and at the same time take into account the shapeli- 
ness of plants and trees and the general arrangement of a garden, 
found their fuller development when he had to deal with men in 
all the various departments of business, social, and political life. 

He grew up in the midst of the business, and havine no outside 
particiuar interests, he seemed to grow into it as well as with it. 
He never had any regular work in the general Counting-house, 
but quite away from that Mr. James Colman had his own private 
room, and I have no doubt that there under his father's training he 
would have very efficient instruAion in business matters generally 
and particularly. 

During the first three years or so I was employed by the Firm 
I was very little at Stoke during the day. Being occupied at 
Norwich and Yarmouth from Monday morning till Wednesday 
evening, I onlv arrived at Stoke Thursday morning for breakfast, 
soon aifter which I started on a coimtry round flour-selling, and 
again on Friday mornine, returning each evening. On Saturday 
we started for Norwich Market between 11 and 12 o'clock. The 
last year or more a Mr. Lawson took the Thursday and Friday 
journeys, and I remained in the Counting-house those two days. 
During those months I naturally saw more of J. J. C. [About 
1850 and 1 85 1.] At that time there was nothing particularly 
striking about him except his general attra£tiveness. He used to 
come in and out the Counting-house frequently, and made himself 
the cheerful companion of us vounger men, ready to join in any 
bit of harmless fim that might oe going on for the moment, but no 
one would have thought of taking any liberties with him. 

The same writer speaks later of the " remarkable growth 



68 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

and development'' which took place in my Father's charaAer 
from 1 85 1-6. 

Part of his work lay in making experiments in regard to 
the manufk6hire of various articles. Thus an entry in his 
Journal for July 30th, 1849, records "got home a new 
galvanic battery from E. Arnold's to perform some ex- 
periments with respedl to the gum " (which for a short 
time was made at Stoke), and other references in his papers 
deal with experiments about starch. Doubtless the memory 
of his own experimental work in this direction made him 
feel the importance of chemistry as a subjeA for study 
when the education of his sons came to be considered. 

My Father's life at Stoke was varied by outside events 
of one kind or another, some of which are recorded in his 
Diary: 

1849. Jan. 31. In the evening heard a Ledure by Mr. G. Daw- 
son on Cromwell. It was admirable. 

1849. ^^^* 7* ^ Public Meeting in St. Andrew's Hall on Re- 
form. Mr. Parry and G. Dawson were the principal speakers : it 
was well attended and a very good meeting. 

1849. March 20. Went to a meeting in the evening at St. 
Andrew's Hall to hear Elihu Burritt. He made a capital speech, 
some parts of it were exceedingly fine and exquisitely touching. 

Music was one of his interests. He had a tenor voice, 
and in his earlier days had lessons from Dr. Buck, the 
Cathedral organist. The organ he learnt from Dr. Bunnett, 
and was sufficiently keen on it to have one put up in his 
own house at Carrow, though in later years he gave up 
playing it himself. He seems to have enjoyed music in 
those Stoke days, even if the instrument left something to 
be desired, one extraft in his Journal, dated February 26th, 
1849, 1'ecording that: 

We all went to Buckenham to a family party: the anniversary of 
grandpapa's birthday (the 25th, by-the-bye, was the proper day). A 
very pleasant party; we had an almost uninterrupted series of tunes 
from the keys of the execrable pianoforte, at which your most 
obedient humble servant officiated. 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 69 

Another extradk refers to a G)ncert which has an historic 
interest for Norwich : 

1849^ January %yd. Went this morning to the Concert to hear 
Jenny Lind ; the riall was well filled with a eood audience. I was 
exceedingly pleased with her, no less for the charming simplicity of 
her manners, than for her singing. Everything was done with a good 
grace, and good-humouredly : she seemed delighted to please every- 
body. . . . Indeed I enjoyed the whole more than I can express. 

This was one of the two Concerts generoudy given in 
Norwich bv the famous SinMr in the cause of Charity, the 
proceeds of which were used to found the Jenny Lind In- 
firmary for Sick Children, a hospital which, opfned for 
Patients in 1 854, has now completed over 50 years of work. 

Occasionally my Father's life at Stoke was varied by 
travels to more distant scenes — not mere pleasure trips, but 
journeys undertaken for the benefit of his fiither*s hodth. 
Thus in 1 847 he went with his parents and his sister to the 
Isle of Wight 

In a Diary, kept during part of the trip, he begins with 
the journey to London, lasting 5 hours, ** a hot and dusty 
journey but through a pleasant country, especially the latter 
part or the way.'* They " took a cab from the station to 
No. I Dowgate Hill, where we had a very comfortable and 
refreshing dinner," This was the London office of J. & J. 
Colman, where his uncles, Jeremiah and Edward Colman, at 
that time Uved. From London the litde party went to Ryde, 
where my Father was struck with ^' all provision being ex- 
tremely and exorbitandy dear." Subsequent entries tell that 
he and his father ^^went for a lon^ walk through Quarr 
Woods to the Abbey," that on Sunday he "went to Trinity 
Church in the morning, and to the Independent Chapel in 
the evening," the following day driving to Ventnor, a " vil- 
lage that is now getting quite large, and might almost be 
called a town." The geological formation ofthe undercliflT 
there interested him, as also the Visitors' Book at an inn at 



70 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Black Ga^ Chine, in which he ** observed the name of 
Daniel O'Connell and several of his friends. It was dated 
Aug. 1843." 

In 1853 they went for a trip to North Wales. My 
Father's Diary, from which I quote, shows that he was not 
unobservant of the beauties and chauufteristics of that land 
— a land which never ceased to charm him. His recoUedion 
of the Welsh Service therein described was often referred to 
by him in later years. This was after circumstances had 
brought him once again into close touch with that country, 
and when he used to revisit it as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. 
Richard Davies, of Treborth, friends for whom he had ever 
the warmest esteem and afIe<5tion, and whose friendship was 
cemented still closer by the subsequent marriage of his elder 
son with one of their daughters. 

His Journal describes the journey from London, his 
"first sight of the mist and cloud * hanging' on the 
mountains as ofren read about, but which Nonolk people 
do not at all understand," the arrival at Bangor, "a very 
poor and dirty place," and their hotel, "the * George,' a com- 
fortable and rather old-fiishioned looking place, standing on 
a hill overlooking the Menai Straits." 

He is much struck with the Tubular Bridge, and records: 

As the visitor nears the strudure its grandeur and stupendous 
proportions keep gradually growing on his view, and impressing his 
imagination more than any view or description that could be made. 
• . • The celebrated Suspension Bridge, once the marvel of the dis- 
tridl, now sinks into comparative insignificance beside that new 
wonder. 

Details are given of both strudures, and it is clear his 
interest was aroused in these evidences of man's engineer- 
ing skill, an interest needed by one destined to take so large 
a share in developing a business in which machinery had to 
play such an increasingly important part. 

The first Sunday must have been a day of varied experi- 
ences: 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 71 

In the momingi [die Tournsl tays,^ we went to the Indepen- 
dent Chapel where the Service was a very cold, miserable amun 
On leaving this we went to a Roman Catholic place where a priest 
in full canonicals was most heartily and earnestly exhorting a goodly 
number of people to a holy course of life, mingled of course witn 
some expressions about ^our most blessed faith/' etc, in the Catholic 
stjrle. Leaving this we went to the Cathedral where there was a 
laxge congregation. The music was inferior though there were one 
or two gM)d voices — at least might become so with good and proper 
training. The Bishop preached, or rather read (for his eyes were 
not lifted from the manuscript the whole time), a cold-hearted 
disquisition on the use of conscience, all morality, but very little 
gospeL In the evening we went to a Welsh service at Menai, and 
were much interested though unable to understand a word of what 
was said. When we went in, the Clerk (at least such English people 
would call him) was reading the Scriptures, he then engaged in 
prayer, a hymn was sung, and some other person spoke for 4 or 5 
minutes, and then the Minister began: He spoke for about 5 
minutes, then sang, and afterwards took a text from which he spoke 
for about half an hour, then sang and concluded with prayer. No 
hymn-books were used by the congregation, but nearly all sane, 
with a good deal of taste, rather than noise; and the tunes were sQl 
in the minor keys, having to us so unaccustomed to them a novel 
and pleasing em&. Afux this public service was over about half 
the congregation left, the others remaining (as is usual every Sunday 
evening) for a short time whilst the children were examined in the 
verses they had been taught during the week or day. A few words 
were addressed to them on some of the verses by three of the persons 
present. • , . We were much struck with the very evident sympathy 
and feeling which existed amongst the people: there was also an 
earnestness that could not be imnoticed and which made us think 
that the people were no losers though not possessed of that quick- 
ness and intelledtual inquisitiveness generally chara£keristic of the 
manufacturing distrids in England. 

The Diary describes some other places visited, but, as is 
often the wav with Holiday Journals, breaks ofF abruptly. 

Two incidents conneAed with my Father during those 
Stoke days must dose this chapter : one, his having saved a 
lad from drowning, and the other his coming-of-age. 

The river at Stoke was not infrequently a source of some 



72 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

danger, as in times of flood it was often very high, and on 
May 29th, 1849, my Father's Journal reconds: 

A melancholy accident occurred at the Mill to-day. The flood 
was excessively high, and a cart was carried away by the stream 
and 2 out of 5 were drowned. 

Only a few weeks later there occurred the incident alluded 
to above. One of the ex-employees at Carrow, recently see- 
ing a portrait of my Father, remarked, "Ah, he once saved 
my lite." It seems that, when a lad, he went to bathe during 
the dinner hour. Being unable to swim, one of the Workmen 
took him on his back with the intention of wading across 
to the shallows on the other side, but, when nearly across, 
fell into a deep place known as Wellam's Hole. The man 
reached the bank in an exhausted condition, and the boy 
was left struggling for his life. My Father, strolling along 
the bank with Mr. Harvard at the time, quickly realized 
the position of aflairs, plunged in, seized the boy's hand, 
and brought him safdy to shore, Mr. Harvard preparing 
to give further help if needed. I never heard my Father 
make any allusion to this incident himself. 

Once again I am indebted to Mr. S. C. Colman for 
further light on incidents conneAed with Stoke, and his 
description of my Father's coming-of-age has the graphic 
touches of one who was present. 

I left Stoke, [he told me,] a few weeks before your Father 
came of age, but was invited to the celebration of it at Stoke on 
Saturday, June 14th, 1851.... 

I was rather late in arriving and found the company occupying a 
tent erected in a grass paddock opposite the house across the road. 
A good feed was provided, time between 5 and 6 o'clock. My re- 
collection as to numbers present is rather dim, consisting I believe 
of the Workmen, Counting House StajBT, and a few invited guests 
connected with the family, and one or two near neighbours. . . • 
Altogether I should think the number present was under 200 and 
might not exceed 100. [Another eye-witness »ves it as about 
150.] After the good things had been satis&Aoruy discussed there 
was some speaking, of which I recoiled very little. Some songs 



i 



YOUTH TO MANHOOD 73 

were sung, **My heart is in the Highlands'' I think by a Mr. Faiilk- 
ner^ then governor of the S wainsthorpe Union near by, "All 's well '• 
by Mr. Harvard I think. When the health of the hero of the even- 
ing was proposed, " He 's a jolly good fellow " was sung vrith this 
alteration, " He 's a worthj young fellow," and I can assure you the 
chorus was taken up with heart and voice. As I have said, the 
speeches I have forgotten, except five words uttered by one speaker. 
I will try and pidure the scene. 

Uncle Jeremiah had risen to speak. As soon as he commenced 
it was evident it would be difficult for him to express his feelings, 
he was so deeply moved by his interest in the occasion. After a 
few rather unsteady words the tears came, words could not, and he 
sat down. I do not think there were many dry eyes in the company, 
and whilst the "hush" was still upon us, Mr. John Doman rose. 
He was a tall man with a unique commanding figure. He com- 
menced with a graceful allusion to the previous speaker, adding with 
quiet force and deliberately these words — " whose silence was most 
eloquent" . The whole scene probably did not occupy much more 
than a minute, but it left an impression on my mind wnich has never 
faded* I have no recolledion of anything more that Mr. Doman 
or anyone else said. The meeting closed early as some of us had 
several miles to drive to return home. 

I am told by others who took part in the festivities that 
there were plenty of sports on the meadow, and the meal 
consisted of "a good old English dinner of roast beef and 
plum pudding," and an eye-vritness, who says he helped to 
cany the puddings to the tables, reports that " when the 
cook turned the plum puddings out of the cloths into the 
dishes they were so rich that they fell into pieces, and she 
was so upset about it that she fainted away, and it took some 
time before she could go on with her duties.'* As to the 
speechifying, I am told that Mr. J. H. Tillett " made a rare 
splendid speech when our governor came of age," and that 
my Father " made a very nice speech thanking his uncle 
Jeremiah and his father and mother for their good wishes.'* 

Thus my Father reached manhood, having led a thought- 
ful and yet busy life, preparing himself for the heavy re- 
sponsibilities which, all unknown, were so soon to rest on his 
shoulders. 



I 



CHAPTER VI 

DEATH OF HIS FATHER 
1851 1854: AGED 21— 24 

N my Father's Journal, a couple of years before his 
ooming-of-age, he had made this entry : 

1849 March 4th Sunday. 142 Psalm. What can be more re- 
freshing than in times of sore distress to cast oneself wholly on 
God? Troubles may come which no human care can alleviate^ 
and which could be entrusted to no human ear : then is it a calm 
and refreshing season to go and trust in God. Moreover God will, 
as He is also able to^ alleviate the difficulty, for ^^ As thy day thy 
strength shall be." . . • Father very poorly with one of his attacks. 

The anxiety about his father's health was destined to in- 
crease. Mr. S. C. Colman tells me that in 1851 James 
Colman was. ^^ in apparent good health and adfcivdy en- 
gaged in the business," but he thinks it must have been 
about that time that my Gnind&ther said to Mr. Samuel 
Harvard, the Head Clerk, in reference to the business he 
had laboured so hard to develop, ^^ I think now the child 
can to some extent run alone, and I hope and intend to 
take things more easily,'^ and my informant thinks he was 
^* no doubt then conscious that the long and close applica- 
tion to the business was telling on his strength." There is 
no doubt it was a heavy strain. ^^ Cradled in anxiety and 
stprm " was the expression my Grandmother used about it, 
many years later, in looking back on those days. 

When I went to Stoke in 1 846, [Mr. S. C. Colman has told me,] 
Uncle Jeremiah had left Stoke to reside in Norwich. He used to 
visit the Works occasionally, but the general management was left 

74 



DEATH OF HIS FATHER 75 

» 

to James Colman, whom I considered one of tke best business men 
I ever knew* Continuing a figure I have used before, whoever 
may have planted the business there, with its various branches, 
whether natural or grafted, its growth to its present stately propor- 
tions is, I believe, mainly due to the intense application, clear 
jadment and careful nurture given to it during his business career 
by Mr. James Colman. Few men possessed as much self-control 
as he did; one hardly ever saw him ruffled or confused. If there 
was turmoil within, he could maintain an outward composure. The 
result of all this, continued for so many yean, was that he died a 
worn out man, when about fifty-two years old. 

With his keen alert nature it was hard for my Grand- 
father to check himself when he saw things needing to be 
done. It is difiicult for one who never saw him to speak 
positively, but an extraffc, copied in his own handwriting 
from the ^' Life of Dr. Yates," seems as if it must have 
described his own rule of life. 

^ Well, Mr. Yates," some one asked, *^ what plan do you adopt 
for the accomplishing of anything you take in hand?'' 

^ I have no particmar plan," said he, ^^ but i/^hen I have anything 
to do, I go and do it, that is all." 

Pinned into a page of one of my Grandmother's Testar 
ments (a trick she had when wishing to preserve anything 
with special care) is a fragment of paper bearing these 
words in her husband's handwriting : ** Be sure that you 
are right, then go ahead," while under them she has written, 
** Found in one of ye pockets of dear Js. Colman, Stoke 
Holy Cross." 

If^ the Business demanded his time and attention, the 
Workpeople too had claims on him which he would have 
been the last to overlook. Nor was there any lack of out- 
side work. That in connexion with St. Mary's Chapel has 
already been mentioned. Civic claims also had to be con- 
sidered. It is clear that when he accepted the office of 
Sheriff of Norwich, in 1849, ^^ ^^^ ^^ more from a sense 



76 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

of duty than because he coveted the position. In his speech 
before the Town Council on that occasion he said : 

I was introduced to your notice by eulogies far beyond my deserts* 
I am, indeed, unconscious that I possess anything in my charader 
or conduct that calls for your encomiums. I am, it is true, a Mem- 
ber of this Council, and I am engaged venr extensively in com- 
mercial' transactions in your City — but still I do not feel that these 
are qualifications sufficient to entitle me to the expressions of re- 
speSt which I have to<-day received from you. I promise you, how- 
ever, that I will do my oest to prove myself worthy of the confi- 
dence you have placed in me. Had I consulted my own feelings, 
I should — although gratified with the honours of this position — 
have, nevertheless, shunned the duties which it imposes, but, &;cn* 
tlemen, I remembered that I am a Citizen, and that I have Fellow- 
citizens, and I determined — if you, in your judgment, thought that 
I possessed any qualifications and talent for the office that would 
prove of service — I would forego my own interest, and do the 
best I could to discharge faithAilly the important duties which 
will devolve upon me. 

Politics, too, absorbed some of his attention. He must 
have taken a leading part in the political life of the City, 
for a letter from Richard Cobd^n, dated 1852, records that 
** whilst at the Reform Club the other day I met Mr. Col- 
man, a leading and influential reformer of Norwich, who 
was consulting Mr. Bright upon the subjed of a liberal 
candidate for that City, ' my Grandfather being one of a 
deputation of four chosen for this purpose. 

While work was hard, recreations were probably few 
enough, though I am told my Grandfather sometimes liked 
a game of dominoes in the evening. 

At the end of 1 8 53 the symptoms of overwork, already 
apparent, became more ^rious, and, in the middle of the 
following January, he went to London in the hope that 
treatment there might lead to recovery. Dr. Chapman, 
whom he consulted, at first gave an encouraging report, 
but said '^ he was like an old horse that had been over* 
worked, and must go out to grass." The general treatment 



DEATH OF HIS FATHER 77 

was to be ^^ fridion scientifically carried through," and this 
necessitated a lengthened stay in London. My Grand* 
mother's trial must have been increased by her dislike of 
London, " this horrid place/' as she had already described 
it. She could hardly bear to hear of country sights and 
scenes when she was there: 

Pray don't write to me about the nightingale, [she once wrote 
from town to my Father,] I almost wish mvself m the tree, cer- 
tainly under it, while they carol away to their happy mates. 

Visits to the Zoological Gardens, though a poor substi- 
tute, were of some interest: 

We paid a visit this morning, [she wrote one day to my Father,] 
to the Ant Eater, a beautiful animal, quite a new acquaintance 
as to habit and appearance. The Hippopotamus was taking his 
morning nap, and was not to be roused — a great big thing. We 
want more books on Natural History while we can make the ac- 
quaintance of so many. Can you look at the Institution during 
the week? 

They returned to Stoke for a litde while in March, 
owing to the illness of a relative, but went back to London 
on April 4th, and on the following day my Grandfather had 
a stroke of paralysis. Several months or anxious watching 
followed, rendered doubly pathetic by the fad that his 
speech was permanendy affeded. On the first anniversary 
of this event the scene was once again vividly before my 
Father: 

As I write, [he said in a letter to my Mother,] it is twelve 
months, according to the hour as well as day, since my dear Father 
left Stoke, and I had the last conversation with him. You may well 
imagine the whole scene is most vividly before me. At daybreak on 
the 5th April the attack came on, and he never spoke afterwards. 
Tis a heavy loss, and one which none can estimate except those 
who have felt it 

My Grandfather was moved to his house on the Marine 
Parade at ILowestoft at the end of July, in the forlorn hope 



78 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

that the sea air might accomplish much. But the improve- 
ment was only of tne slightest kind. In the middle of OAo- 
ber he had an alarming relapse, and passed away on the 24th 
of that month, 1 8 54, aged 52. He was buried at the Rosary 
in Norwich. Nearly forty-four years were to elapse before 
his wife was laid to rest in the same plot of ground. 

A few weeks after my Grandfather's death, on the even- 
ing of Sunday, Dec. lodi, an Address, afterwards printed for 
distribution amongst them, was delivered to the Workmen 
employed at the Stoke Mills by Mr. J. H. Tillett, himself a 
warm friend of my Grandfather's. It was not, my Father 
wrote, " a funeral sermon as that is too commonly under- 
stood, but a plain and simple appeal such as the circiun- 
stance called for." 

Thus my Father was left:, at the early age of twenty-four, 
— ^^ having lost thus early and when most needed the coun- 
sel of a bdoved Parent," to quote his own words, — ^left with 
responsibilities resting on his shoulders which must have 
seemed weU-nigh crushing. 

A delicate mother and a younger sister were dependent 
on his care, while he had the responsibility of managing the 
manufafturing part of a large and increasing business, for he 
was then the only resident Partner at Stoke, with the near 
prospeft of arranging for its removal to Norwich, with all 
that this involved. True he had the help of two other Part- 
ners, his uncles, but they lived in London, and valuable as 
this help was, it was in the main given at the Counting House 
there, while the absence of quick means of communication 
then made it more difficult to get their advice as knotty prob- 
lems arose. His sister has told me something of the strain 
on all of them during those months, just before and after 
her father's death, and of the way in which her brother 
bore it: 

Your Father, [she writes,] married in less than two years after my 
Father's death, and with the break up of our home in Stoke and the 
sad change and loss to us, you can imagine the loss of a brother and 



DEATH OF HIS FATHER 79 

son seemed a terrible one to my Mother and myself. The home 
seemed doubly empty for a long time. [My grandmother could not 
make up her mind to spend another night at the Stoke House, and 
made her home at Town Close Lodge, Ipswich Road, Norwich.] 
I think in very many of those letters, [between my Father and 
his mother,] you will notice the kindly consideration your Father 
felt for us, and how ftilly he realized how much we missed him. 

There never was the least doubt but that my Father lost his life 
in his effort to work up the business. I suppose he could not give 
up, as that might have been a loss. Still I always wished he could 
have left it all some years before, and taken the rest he so much 
needed. It would have been so much better for us to have had him 
longer with us. However, we do not know what is really best for 
us, or what tfk£k that sorrowful time had on yoiu* Father in fitting 
him for the place he had to take. That six months, [during his 
Father's illness,] must have been a trying time for a young man. . . . 
He had to be alone at Stoke and look after the business, and every 
Friday or perhaps Saturday he came to Liondon to remain till Mon- 
day, doing all he could to comfort and help his Father, Mother and 
Sister. He used to go with me on Sundav to Dr. Brock's Chapel, 
where we had sittings in Sir Morton Peto s pew, and on more than 
one occasion Sir Morton took us part of the way back in his omni- 
bus. The said onmibus was a sort of family coach, part was occupied 
by the family, another part was for the female servants, and the men 
sat on the box. These domestics had pews where Sir Morton Peto 
could see, so he saw that they really were at chapel. Times have 
changed since then. 

One or two eictrafts from letters from his mother, written 
a year or so afrer his father's death, will show her anxiety 
about him at that time, and how much he was to her: 

I am not half reconciled to your absence. This you will not much 
wonder at now that I almost look to you to fill your precious Father's 
place and your own, and I love to feel how well and how kindly you 
do so. • • • 

Thank you, my precious child, for your ever kind sympathy. I 
feel you need it in a large measure yourself, for the loss of such a 
parent must be felt for many many vears, if not for life. Few (I know 
of none) who had ever one so tender, thoughtful and wise, . • . and 
when I tell you how much I feel for the care and burden that devolves 
on you through his removal you will not think me selfish in my 



8o JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

sorrow. The burden of a large business you would have shared to- 
gether. . • . Men of business have much in their power. It is too 
often the habit to decry and call it necessarily mercenary. I know it 
is highly disciplinary, and the means of immense usefulness. ... It 
is only to be deprecated where it is too absorbing to the time, and 
made the means of storing wealth. A life of usefulness is offered to 
men of husintss-^lmgth of days has nothing to do with it • • • 

I am sometimes anxious, left as you are without the experience 
that it takes a life to gain, that you should do all that is right and 
wise. ... I know so well the cost to have made the business, that 
perhaps I may be needlessly anxious — ^for dear Papa used to say when 
really got to work it would go almost of ^^ itself" — but then there is 
the working of it, and dark days will come. • • • Do not always look 
for golden years. 

There were not wanting those who were ready to make 
his difficult task doubly hard: 

Standing at the head of a business such as ours is not alivays smooth 
work, [he wrote in a letter to my Mother in March 1855]. I know 
'tis a perilous position for me to be, at so young an age, master abso- 
lutely and imreservedly over so many people, and sometimes to have 
to demand an implicit though it be rehifbuit obedience. I find also 
plenty of people ready to flatter most outrageously, but trust I shall 
be proof against this, for I hate above all things either to receive or 
give it. 

Happily throughout life he retained this hatred of flattery, 
and those who came to ask a favour with grovelling servil- 
ity little knew how surely they were undermining their 
chances of success. 

If at times the work of dealing with those who served him 
was difficult, this does not mean that he could not surmount 
the difficulties. One at least of his Workpeople still recalls 
the great gentleness and kindness with which my Father 
chided him for the petty theft of a few apples in the garden, 
warning him that though such an a<5l might seem small in it- 
self, it might, if unchecked, lead on to a life of wrong-doing. 

The absorbing interest of the business was another danger: 

I sometimes feel ashamed of myself, [he wrote to my Mother in 
1855,] after a day or a week's business engagements to think how 



DEATH OF HIS FATHER 8i 

much it has engrossed my time or care, to the exclusion of infinitely 
more important things. 

This judgment of himself must have seemed unneces- 
sarily severe to her, for a few months earlier she had written 
to him: 

I rejoice to know that you are not absorbed in business as some 
men are, but that you have a mind which himgers and thirsts after 
far higher nutriment than day-books or ledgers can furnish. 

The rest of the seventh day, bringing its welcome break, 
he greatly prized: 

What a blessed thing, [he wrote in a letter to my Mother the same 
year,] after the cares and bustle of a week's business is a quiet Sun- 
day, and such I am enjoying now: — there's nothing like it for mind 
or body. I sometimes fancy (though this may be a mistake) that you 
will not relish it thoroughly till you have some experience in seeing 
daily the bother business men are exposed to. 

. One more extradl in somewhat the same strain, written 
to my Mother from Lowestoft during the first anniversary 
of the closing days of his father's life, must end this chapter: 

It does one no harm to rest awhile ftom business, and look back- 
wards as well as forwards, and particularly is it meet to note well a 
first anniversary of sorrow. We are all too apt— especially business 
men — to be engrossed in the present and negled the wholesome 
lessons of the past, but I should like to guard against this. 



CHAPTER VII 

EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 

WHEN James Colman died forty years had elapsed 
since the time when Jeremiah G)lman first set up 
business at Stoke. During those years, especially under the 
fostering care of the former, the business of J. & J. Colman 
had been gradually developing. 

The '^ old Stoke days," as that time is affeftionatelv de- 
scribed by those who took part in them, were so difrerent 
in many ways from the present days, with their modern 
developments of machinery and locomotion, that they can 
hardly fail to have an interest for those who like to revive 
a bygone time. In this twentieth century large commercial 
enterprises, non-existent yesterday, are started to-day with 
a flourish of trumpets, and the story of the gradual evolu- 
tion of an extensive business from the time when machinery 
was hardly dreamt of, and wagons and horses were the 
quickest means of transport, deals largely with a time that 
has long since passed away. 

Even allowing for possible exaggeration, it is worthy of 
note, as emphasising die different conditions of commercial 
life in those days, mat when James Colman died in 1854, 
the " Norfolk News " described him as the senior partner 
in a commercial firm " which in the extent of its operations 
is surpassed by few in the kingdom," and yet the number 
of Employees was only between two and three hundred, 
probably nearer the former than the latter. 

When the business at Stoke was first taken over by 
Jeremiah Colman, in 18 14, the work was confined to flour 
milling and mustard making. To these were added starch 

82 



I 



^ 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 83 

in the early 'thirties, and e^^im in the 'forties, though the 
latter, after being put on the market for a short time, was 
withdrawn. The Firm did a small amount of trade as agents 
for blue, but the manufadfcure of this did not begin in 
earnest until after the move to Carrow, that which was done 
during the dosing' years at Stoke being mainly of an ex- 
perimental nature. Cornflour was added later. 

The mustard seed used in the manufa<^re had to come 
from some distance, largely from the distri(% round Wis- 
bech. I find that Messrs. Dawbarn and Son, who still aft 
as agents, were supplying seed from there certainly as early 
as 1 8 1 5, and very likely earlier. Yorkshire and Holland 
also became markets for supplying it, that from the latter 
place coming, I am told by one or the Clerks who was at 
Stoke, ^' in bags of material that we should call duck or 
drill, which was bleached, and made beautiful summer 
suits." 

The packing of manufadhired articles was a simple matter 
in those days compared with the present. Up to 1850 the 
mustard was packed almost entirely in wooden casks of 
varying sizes, except a certain amount which was then put 
in botdes for the export trade. At that time experiments 
were first made in packing mustard in tins, these being;, I 
am told by Mr. S. C. Colman, " simply ordinary plain 
cylinders, with nothing whatever artistic about them." He 
has recoUedions of seeing the packing done in very early 
days, when, as a child, he used to be taken from Poring- 
land, and was allowed ^^ to wander about the premises, and 
watch the various operations." Of this he writes: 

During the years about 1834 I have an impression that Mr. 
James Colman did all the mixing of the various siftings of the 
crushed mustard seed for the four qualities of mustard, which, 
vehen mixed, were stored in a chamber over the chaise house on 
the east side of the Mill House Garden. I also think that then one 
man named Lazarus Home did all the packing into casks in that 
chamber. . • . He then had only one arm, having lost the other 



84 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

in J. & J. C/s service. I seem to see him now with his one arm, fint 
carefully lining a cask with thin, light brown paper, filling and 
weighing each cask, and then fastening on the head of the cask. 
To see a one-armed man do all this was of great interest to me, 
and if my memory is to be trusted, shows the comparative size of 
the business in mustard. 

At busy times, when there was a rush of work, my 
Grandmother and her daughter used to help to nail the 
labels on to these casks. 

The distribution of the manufadured goods was a con- 
sideration, for until the last decade of the time at Stoke 
there were no railways in Norfolk. There is a legend that 
the carting business in London was at one time done by 
a cart drawn by a large dog. From Stoke it was done by 
carts or wagons, the latter being drawn by three or four 
horses, according to the weight. Sometimes these went as 
far as London, but when the railway was opened, in 1 845, 
Swainsthorpe Station was used a great d^, both for in- 
coming and out-going goods. The wagons also took goods 
to Norwich, where the river supplied water communication 
with the seaport of Yarmouth. 

The machinery of those Stoke days — ^so difierent from 
the complex appliances of the present time — ^was worked 
at first only by wind and water, and of course much more 
work was done by hand. Mr. S. C. Colman tells me that: 

Up to my leaving Poringland Mill in 1836, 1 think water and 
wind were the only powers used at Stoke. The windmill was ex- 
clusively used for grinding wheat and other grain. At that time 
one water-wheel worked nve pairs of mill stones at the west end 
of the Mill for grinding wheat, also the necessary machinery for 
separating the husk or bran from the flour. At the east end of the 
Mill Buildings was another water wheel, which worked the mustard- 
making machinery. 

About 1845 steam power was introduced, Thorold of Norwich 
ereding a twen^-horse power engine to work the machinery in a 
new mustard mill, built some fifty yards or more north-east of the 
water mill. This engine was in full work when I joined the staff 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 85 

of clerkB in December 1846. This engine must, I think, have been 
used also to work some of the mechanical arranfi;ements in the 
starch work. It soon proved unequal to the growing demands of 
the business, and another engine was put in of twentv-five horse 
power (nominal) by Joyce of Greenwich. I have a dim recollec- 
tion of another small steam engine being put down befiH'c moving 
to Carrow Works. 

Though the conditions were all so diiFerent then, the 
Mills at Stoke must have presented a busy scene. Mr. 
J. D. Copeman has written, referring to the years 1836 to 
1840: 

It was a perfect hive of industry. I rose at 6 a.m., when not 
travelling, and kept at work in the office till it was time for prayers, 
[Family Prayers at Jeremiah Colman's, where he lodged,] then 
went to bed. The only event that awoke me was the aanng of the 
^^ Stampers " [used for crushing the mustard seed]. 

And Mr. S. C. Colman wrote, after seeing a photograph 
of Stoke in its present day aspeft: 

I am most struck with one feature in the pi£hire — everything 
looked so cUan and quiet^ not the busy hive of industry it was when 
I knew it. 

Of those who were at the head of affairs at that time, 
I understand James Colman made the mustard branch his 
special care, while Jeremiah Colman attended more to the 
flour department. 

As the trade in mustard and starch grew, London be- 
came an increasingly important centre, because it was then 
much easier to distribute goods from there than from 
Norwich. I am told by Mr. J. D. Copeman : 

The origin of the London House was through an Uncle of mine, - 
Thomas Hawkins, who married a Miss Raven, sister to the wife of 
William Hardy, of Letheringsett. My Uncle had a large business 
in St. Nicholas Lane, City, and he said to your Grandfa^er, ^^Send 
up some casks of Mustard to my warehouse, and I wilf do what I 



86 JEREMIAH JAl^IES COLMAN 

• 

can with it." That he did so I had proof many years afterwards. 
Calling upon an old-established grocer in Portsmouth, I presented 
the J. ic J. Colman card, and looking at it he said, ^^ I remember 
this card being given to me by a Mr. Hawkins, who used to come 
here by the night mail, and, doing a big business, returned to town 
the next night. I wonder what has become of him." Of course I 
told him of my relationship. That is the origin of the London 
business — ^somewhere between 1820 and 1825." 

Later on two of James G)lman's brothers, Jeremiah and 
Edward, started a small business in London as agents, under 
the tide of "Colman Brothers," afting as agents for J. & J. 
Colman ; but in 1 844 both of them were taken into partner- 
ship by the Stoke Firm, and the tide of Colman Brothers 
lapsed. 

Edward Colman had been a good deal at Stoke before he 
setded in London, helping the Firm apparendy by calling 
on customers. When he went to town in the early 'thirties 
the left his relations there, we are told, " all flat at his leav- 
ing," as he was " so good tempered, and so beloved by all." 

Jeremiah Colman was in some employment at Stratford 
in 1828, though he is said not to have been "much enrap- 
tured with it.* Three years later he was with some uncles 
doing a litde work for them, but the keen alert business 
faculty, which was so charaderistic of him in later life, made 
him even then yearn for work where it woidd have greater 
scope. Thus he wrote to his uncle, Jeremiah Colman of 
Stoke, in 1831: 

Should it be your desire for me to continue here as long as my 
uncles may wish, I have no doubt but they will find me employ- 
ment for some litde time. I believe they intend I should colled in 
the debts. You are quite aware that from my present occupation 
I am deriving no particular knowledge of business. A child can call 
upon a baker and ask for money, and when told to call again next 
week can do so. This is the case with me, but I am quite content 
to do it if it is in your opinion right. 

The London Branch, begun thus in a small way, gradually 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 87 

developed^ coincidendy with the growth at the manufac- 
turing end, under the care of Jeremiah and Edward Colman. 
The manufaduring was not carried on in London, but at 
one time some of the goods were sent there to be packed 
in smaller quantities for distribution. 

The London quarters were first at No. 8, Cloak Lane, 
then at No. i , Dowgate Hill. But after some years of occu- 
pation this place was pulled down for some street improve- 
ments, necessitating a move in 1848. No. 9, G>ll^e Hill 
formed a temporary resting place, but in 1851 the founda- 
tion stone of the present office was laid by Frederick £. 
Colman (the young son of Edward Colman, and afterwards 
a Partner), at 26, Cannon Street, now known as No. 108 
owing to the re-numbering of the street. 

At one time Edward Colman spent some time in the 
Midlands, trying to develop the business there, while Jere- 
miah gave his attention to die work at the London branch. 
Edward has left a lasting memento in the form of the signa- 
ture of J. & J. Colman, which appears on labels of goods 
manufkaured by them, this having been lithographed from 
his signature— of which he is declared by my Father to have 
" been very proud." 

Jeremiah Colman once wrote to my Father: 

A place for everything and everything in its place is a capital 
motto, but not a bit more essential than a place for everybody and 
everybody in his place, in a business like ours. 

A wise judgment in choosing subordinates counted for 
much, and no record of the growth of the business would 
be in any sense complete did it not mention the loyal and 
strenuous labour which has been so unstintingly given by 
the many who have helped in its development. If at times, 
during a long series of years, confidence has been misplaced, 
it has but served to accentuate the bright side of the pifture. 

Of those who have helped it would be invidious to par- 
ticvdarize too much. But mention must be made of Mr. John 



t 



88 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Robinson, Mr. Charles Aldrich (now represented by his 
son Mr. C. R. Aldrich), and Mr. F. G. Flinn, appointed 
during the 'forties or early 'fifties, who, in the capacity of 
Commercial Travellers, did so much during their long con- 
neftion with the Firm to further its interests. In the early 
days James Colman, as already mentioned, was his own Tra- 
vdler, this often taking him away by the week or fortnight 
together. Mr. Sparrow, I believe, was the first Traveller en- 
gaged, Mr. John Carter, another early one, and by 1849 
uiere were, I am told, three employed. 

Mr. Jonathan D. Copeman, whose recoUeAions have fire- 

uently been alluded to, took a leading part in establishing 

e trade in America. This was in 1 840. Of this he writes: 

When I communicated the fad to your Grandfather that my 
Father wished me to assist him in his business, he said, *^ But we 
want you before you leave to go to America and Canada, and see 
what can be done to establish a business in Mustard and Flour, etc., 
for us." I was rather alarmed at the request, looking at my age 
(22) and seeing older men above me. Eventually I agreed. . . • 
I was absent nearly six months, going by the ^* British Queen,'' 
September ist, 1840, in the early dap of Atlantic Steam Naviga- 
tion, passage money to New York £55, time 16 days. 

There are references in letters dealing with that time to 
Show Cards for advertising purposes, but these can have 
been only in a very small way. Perhaps in no branch of 
commercial life has there been a greater development than 
in the advertising one. 

As regards the chief helpers who were at Stoke itself, I 
cannot do better than once again quote from Mr. S. C. 
Oilman's recoUedions : 

The helpers were very numerous, and a selection of a few chief 
ones rather a difficult task. 

One personalitv stands out prominently before my mind from 
his long conne£tion and prominent position on the staf^ and my 
close personal connection with him from 1846 until his death in 
1890. The name Samuel Harvard will not soon be forgotten by 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 89 

those who were associated with htm. He possessed rather a oom* 
manding figure, and no man of my acquaintance could put more 
intensity of expression into a look than he could. • . . 

Mr. James Colman knew his capabilities, and how to use them, 
attaching Samuel Harvard very warmly to himself — I have often 
said that he was the only man Samuel Harvard was afraid of. To 
oblige and serve him S. H. would put himself to personal incon- 
venience at any time, but without any what is called ^ toadying.** 
That would have been been worse than useless with Mr. James. 
The root of this readiness to serve was the high esteem, and I think 
I may say the real ailedion he felt towards him. I consider myself 
considerably indebted to Mr. Harvard, and had a strong liking for 
him — but he was an enigma. 

Mr. Womersley also stands out in those Stoke days. In this case 
also the friendship conmienced at Stoke continued until his death. • . . 

John Clarke, the mustard foreman during and after my Stoke 
dajrs, is a well remembered figure, genial, even-tempered, usually 
ready with a cheerful greeting when we met him — such a charader 
is not easily forgotten, and a more faithful servant I do not think 
master ever had. . . . His great ambition seemed to be fiiithfiiUy 
and intelligently to carry out the instructions he received. ... A 
few years after removal to Carrow, Clarke died, and was succeeded 
in the position by his son George Clarke. He died comparatively 
voung, and Charles Dix, who had been with the Firm from boy* 
hood, became Mustard Mill Manager, occupying that position some 
years, and was in turn succeeded by his son William Dix in the 
nineties. 

Mr. Harvard settled at Stoke in 1840, though the pre- 
vious year he was there for a time, doing some temporary 
work. Mr. Joshua Womersley, whose family is still repre- 
sented at Carrow by his son, Mr. John Womersley, went 
there in 1840 or 1841. His work was chiefly in the de- 
velopment of the manufaAure of starch. 

When Mr. J. D. Copeman first went to Stoke in 1836, 
he says there were two Clerks in the office, to whom he 
gave occasional help, the chief one being Mr. Harvey. I 
believe at the close of the Stoke days there were five or 
six in all. 

Two members of the Colman family who assisted the 



90 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Firm must be mentioned, namely, Samuel, a son of Robert 
and Mary Colman of Ashwellthorpe, who adled as archite<5i:, 
and Henry, a younger brother of James Colman, who 
went to Stoke in 1857. 

As regards the number of Workmen employed at Stoke, 
I am told that in 1836 there were not more than thirty or 
forty, but this number graduaUy increased to about one 
hundred by 1851, and twice that number or more by the 
time the move was made to Norwich in 1856. Boys used 
to begin work early in those days, often at the age of eight 
or nine, there being no legal prohibition as to age. Girls 
were not employed at Stoke, but in the early days of starch 
making there were one or two women employed to press 
it through the sieves by hand. 

The Workmen did not all live at Stoke, many of them 
coming from neighbouring villages, such as Saxlingham, 
Shottesham, Poringland, or Swainsthorpe, and a few even 
from Norwich, the four miles walk from there necessitating 
a very early, start. The working hours were nominally from 
six to six, with half an hour's break for breakfast, and an 
hour for dinner, but there seems to have been a great 
amount of over-time work at some seasons of the year, so 
it is not surprising that one of the Workmen should say : 

I don't recollect anything we used to do of an evening, only go 
home and go to bed. 

James Barnes, one of the Employees, whose death in 
1 904 terminated a unique service for the Firm, lasting three 
quarters of a century sdl but a few months, has told me : 

I have worked till twelve o'clock, sometimes as often as three* 
or four times a week, and done my day work as well. 

Still some of the men seem to have found time, while 
the light lasted, to work in their gardens in the evening, 
they having little plots of ground in which to grow potatoes. 
Saturday was considered a " short day," but work did not 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 91 

cease till five (instead of at twelve as now)^ until about the 
end of the time at Stoke, when the closing hour was put 
somewhat earlier, so as to enable the Workpeople to have 
their Saturday afternoons free. 

The wages of the best Workmen seem, as a rule, to have 
been not more than i is. a week, though one of them has 
told me ^^ we had always a shilling or two shillings more 
than the labourers' wages." Some of the men had only 9^. 
Over-time was paid for at the rate of threepence an hour, 
and sometimes, when working late, beer and bread and 
cheese were cpiven to them. At harvest time the men got 
an extra week's wages as an inducement to keep them in 
the Mills. They were allowed flour at 2i. a stone when- 
ever the selling price wa^ higher than that, this arrangement 
having been made by Jeremiah Colman on a Coronation 
Day — ^probably that of Queen Viftoria — ^but after the move 
to Norwich it was found some used to sell the flour again, 
and as the privilege became abused it had to be modified. 

The wages were at one time paid by James Colman 
himself, who, I am told by one, ^^ sometimes gave us some 
good advice when he parted with the money. ' When the 
move was made to Norwich the wages were raised some- 
what to meet the extra cost of living. In that first half of 
the nineteenth century, with the general rate of wages so 
much lower than it is now, the assignment of the family ex- 
chequer must have been a matter of difliculty, and one is 
not surprised, in answer to a question as to 4iow people 
managed to eke out their wages, to get the answer, " I 
don't know, you must ask the women. ' 

No piAure of the life at Stoke would be complete with- 
out some mention of the social side. Mr. S. C. Colman says: 

The members of the Firm were very conscious of their responsi- 
bility to consider and promote as &r as they could the well-being, 
both for this life and that which is to come, of those under their in- 
fluence. 

My Grandmother, too, is said by many of the Workpeople 



92 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

to have been very sympathetic with them in times of trouble 
or illness. She managed a Clothing Club for them, and 
added a bonus to the money they paid in. Then at Christ- 
mas-time she used to buy a stock of drapery, which was re- 
tailed to the members at cost price. Ann Harmer used to 
assist at these annud sales, presenting the members on 
arrival with tickets, showing how much stood to their credit, 
and checking their purchases. 

The children of the village were cared for by a School 
which was in charge of Maria Cogman, '^ a kind old body,'' 
as I have heard her described. One who was there as a litde 
girl, about eight, recalls visits of Jeremiah Colman and others 
to the School, and the singing of songs, of which the follow- 
ing Unes have remained in £e memory: 

We love our God and guardians kind, 
And leave all useless things behind, 

and of being asked by a lady, probably Ann Harmer, to 
spell ^^ apple," and then being told to run into her uncle 
Jeremiah Colman's garden and pick up as many as she could. 

In the later years some of the boys employed at the Mills 
used to put in an hour a day at school, half or it being during 
the Firm's time, and they were taught by Mr. Thomas Win- 
ter, whose long connexion with the Counting House Staff 
dates from 1 849. At one time, too, a night school for boys was 
carried on by my Grandmother's sister, Sarah Burlingham. 

It would seem that occasional outings were arranged for 
the juveniles. At any rate it is mentioned, in one of my 
Father's letters in 1855, that "about a score of the Infant 
School children are gone to Lowestoft for a run on the 
beach." On Valentine's Day my Grandmother used to give 
each child a present of a penny and a bun. 

The Schoolroom, which had been eredted by Jeremiah and 
James Colman for the benefit of the Workpeople, was used 
also on Sundays for Services. But Mr. S. C. Colman's 
memory goes back to stiU earlier times. Thus he writes: 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 93 

Mv earliest recoUedUon of Religious Services are connected with 
my roringland days. [Between 1833 and 1836.] I have a distind 
memory of a meeting or meetings in the chaise house at the east end 
of Uncle Jeremiah's garden on summer evenings^ and on week davs 
I think. It was cleared and seated by planks kid from side to side, 
each end being supported by an empty mustard cask. My memory 
of the place says that about a hundred could be seated tnere. Mr. 
Brock I think was the speaker. Later on, I don't know when, the 
schoolroom was used rtmhrlj for preaching services on Sundayaiter- 
noons or evenings— perhaps both. Friends from Norwich conneded 
with the various Churches there used to conduA these meetings. 

Amongst those who helped were, I am told, Mr. Josiah 
Fletcher, the Rev. William Brock, Mr. Cozens, Mr. Ed- 
mund Theobald, Mr. Winter (of Norwich), the Rev. Gcorec 
Gould, the Rev. T. A. Wheeler, Mr. J. D. Smith, Nlr. 
Fisher, and occasionally Mr. J. H. Tillett. It has been de- 
scribed to me as ** an old-fashioned country Service, the con- 
gr^ation sitting during the singing of the hymns, and stand- 
ing for the prayers." James Colman, who was very fond of 
music, and helped in die singing, is said sometimes to have 
read chapters from the Bible, and to have given out notices. 
The only instrument was a pitch-pipe, the singing being led 
by Mr. Harvard and Mr. Thomas Winter. By die close of 
the Stoke days there were certainly afternoon as well as even- 
ing Services, in addition to a week-night one, and a fort- 
nighdy Bible Class. But when there was no Service on the 
Sunday evening I am told that James Colman used some- 
times to go to the Stoke Church, and that the Vicar, the Rev. 
John Bailey, was ^' friendly at the house," notwithstanding 
die strong Nonconformist leanings of die Colman famUy. 

In 1850 the Stoke Holy Cross Reading Society was 
founded, widi my Grand&dier as President, and my Fadier 
as Vice-President. The entrance fee was one shilling, and 
the subscription one penny a week for members over sixteen, 
and half this for younger ones. The minute book shows 
diat seventeen rules were drawn up, and the Committee 
Meetings were conduded in a most business-like style, my 



94 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Father being a veiy r^ular attendant at them, learning thus 
early something of business procedure — a useful preparation 
for his Committee work in later life. My Grandfather 
offered the use of the Schoolroom as the Society's Reading 
Room, and at its second General Meeting held on March 
19th, 1 85 1, at the "Rummer" Inn, the Report tells that: 

Upwards of forty persons partook of a very substantial dinner — 
being invited to do so by the hospitality of James Colman, Esq^ 
President of the Society and Chairman of the Meeting. 

After dinner the secretary read the Report, from which 
it appeared that the Society consisted of forty-eight mem- 
bers, that it had a Library of 1 67 volumes, and took in some 
half dozen periodicals, and that it was ^^ in every respeA in as 
flourishing a condition as its warmest friends could desire." 
Unfortunately this happy state of afiairs did not long con- 
tinue, for the following year ^' the depressed state of the 
Society " had to be considered. The books whose titles are 
mentioned were of a distinctly solid type — ^possibly too solid 
for the tastes of most of the members. It was resolved that 
** Messrs. Harvard, Womersley and Dye be deputed to pro- 
vide a dinner for the Members of the Society at the earliest 
possible day,forwhich the Members will pay each one shilling 
and sixpence," but this attempt to resuscitate the Society 
was, one fears, not crowned with success. 

Ledhires were occasionally given in the Schoolroom. Dr. 
Beal, the Vicar of Brooke, was one who helped in this way, 
and my Father was another. One of the Workmen has 
told me: 

I recoiled Mr. Jeremiah James Colman giving us a Le£lure in 
the Chapel on Sea Anemones, which I think he had brought from 
Cromer. He had a lot of them in glasses standing on the table at 
which Mr. Harvard used to start the singing on Sundajrs. 

With my Father's interest in Natural History it is not 
surprising he chose that kind of subjeA. OneLefture given 
by him at Stoke in the spring of 1856, and repeated at 
Carrow in 1857, was on the ^Habits and Instinfts of 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 95 

Animals," and was illustrated with lantern slides and dia- 
grams. He told his hearers that in walking to the Mills they 
passed many things on every side which would astound them 
did they know or think about them, reminding them that: 

Every leaf is full of beauty and of life, adapted to be a source of 
nourishment and support to some insed or another which the sum- 
mer's sun has brought to life ; every bird which sings in the early 
morning as you pass has some habit and characteristic peculiar to 
itself. 

The Lefturer touched on birds, their migration, habits, 
nesting places, care for their young, and speed of travel — 
incidentally referring to the modern developments of the 
telegraph and railway as news carriers, and telling his 
hearers, "just to give an idea of the great use formerly 
made of carrier pigeons, that ten years back a London 
newspaper paid ;^ 1,800 per annum for pigeon expresses.*' 
The beaver, elephant, lion, fox, and camel, amongst others, 
all came in for some share of attention, and the Ledure 
was an attempt to show by a few instances " as an estab- 
lished rule that there is nothing in God's creation useless 



or in vain." 



Another Ledure, on a similar subjeft, was given before 
the Holt Literary Society in January, 1857, and subse- 
quently repeated with some alterations at Stoke the follow- 
ing month. It covered a wider range of subjefb than the 
former one, and included extinft reptiles, coral reefs, lob- 
sters and crabs, inseds and quadrupeds. It is worth noting 
that in those days, when the religious world was rent with 
controversies over recently propoimded scientific theories 
as to the creation of the world, my Father was in no way 
daunted, accepting fearlessly the statements of modern 
science as to the age of the earth's history, and at the same 
time accepting the revelation in the Bible, believing that 
*^ the God of Nature and the God of the Bible is the same 
and teaches the same truths in both revelations," and that 
^^ the seeming contradidtion " was only apparent and not 



96 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

real. After referring to truths which might be learnt from 
Nature, the Ledurer closed with an appeal to his " Fellow 
young men," reminding them of their high powers, and 
the use they might make of them : 

Think of such men as Milton, Shakespeare, Davy, Franklin, 
Watt, Stephenson, Columbus, Bunyan, Luther, and remember what 
has been done mav be done again. Perhaps you shrink in despair 
from such a list. Know then that a humble sphere may be an heroic 
one I the batde of life may be fought as bravely in a garret, or behind 
a counter, as on the heights of Alma or the plains of Waterloo. 

The paper ended with verses from Longfellow's " Psalm 
of Life," a poem which seems to have specially appealed to 
my Father, and was often quoted by him. 

Though admitting in the above LeAure that " a humble 
sphere may be an heroic one," my Father also felt strongly 
that humble surroundings need not necessarily be a bar to 
world-wide influence and usefulness. At the starting of the 
Reading Society, already alluded to, he seems to have given 
a Ledure on this subjeft, or at least made notes with this 
intention. Instances were given of many who, without 
position or influence, but by their " invincible determina- 
tion," rose to the highest positions in the world of religion, 
politics, literature, science, art or adventure. 

The Brass Band which was started at Stoke about 1855 
is deserving of some reference. The members seem to have 
known little or nothing about instruments at the start, and 
it is said "everyone wanted to play the cornopean." 
Mr. Joshua Womersley took an adive part in its forma- 
tion, and also Mr. Randall, the foreman of the Flour Mill, 
and the pradices used to take place in a summer house in 
Mr. Womersley's garden. I hear that "one of the first 
things they learnt to play was ^ God save the Queen,' and 
then they learnt * The Vesper Hymn,* and that * Cheer, 
Boys, Cheer ' was a good tune." After a time the Band 
was augmented by some string instruments. They had 
then, I am told, " violins, flutes, tnunpets, and in fad a 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 97 

regular orchestral band/' though my informant adds, ^^ I 
am not going to tell you the music was all very his;h class/' 
and that '^ sometimes they undertook more than mey could 
perform. ' 

There was also a Singing Class at Stoke, of about 40 
members who paid i/- a quarter, which was carried on 
under the instruAion of Dr. Hill. My Father, it is said, 
was very fond of this class, and amongst its repertoire were 
" The Heavens are telling," " Hail, Smiling Morn 1 " and 
"Breathe soft ye Winds." In 1 856 a very successful G)ncert 
was given, of which he has left a description in a letter to 
my Mother, written from Lowestoft : 

Here I am again, having returned this afternoon from Stoke 
where I went yesterday to attend the Concert last night, and I really 
question whether you and your co-audience on Monday were more 
interested than the last night's one. There were rather over 
300 people there, including 4 parsons from the neighbourhood, 
rarmers from the parish and surrounding ones, and a goodly muster 
of our workmen. I certainly was surprised to see the-white chokers 
— ^knowing the strength of party feeling about I hardly thought to 
see them at a Concert announced to be held at Suke Milk School- 
roomy belonging to and lent by a Dissenter. However come they 
did, and it so happened their feelings were not outraged, for we held 
the Concert on a granary which was cleared for the occasion, and 
decorated with flags, evergreens, and paper of varied colours. I en- 
close a programme that you may see what was the sort of thing we 
had, and I think you'll say it is not a bad one considering. The Class 
did their part very well, though they were of course rather nervous, 
but they didn't break down, by no manner of means." 

An occasional Pantomime and a Fair in the neighbour- 
hood seem to have provided a lighter form of amusement 
At least one of the Employees luis recorded: 

Once Mr. Tames Colman said to John Clarke [the foreman of 
the Mustard Mill], ^ Have you heard your men say anything about 
Shottesham Fair?" Cbrke said, « No, not a great sight." "Well," 
he said, " you have worked very hard this summer. You must let 
them go to the Fair." 

H 



98 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Cricket seems to have been played towards the close of 
the time at Stoke, and I judge my Father took considerable 
interest in it. Before that one hears of the game of Camp, 
which seems to have been a sort of forerunner of football, 
though played on a less restridled ground. 

An annual tea meeting was held for the Workpeople, 
certainly during the closing years at Stoke, and in. 1858 
my Mother mentioned in a letter that her husband wished 
to take her down to one, " as it is probably the last of any 
size which will be held at Stoke." These Whitsuntide 
gatherings were continued for many years at Carrow, be- 
ing held in my Father's garden and adjoining meadow, until 
their size made them unwieldy, and it was thought best to 
substitute an extra day's holiday in their place. 

The Counting House Staff, too, seems to have had an 
annual gathering, which is still continued, my Father's Diary 
recording in 1 849 : 

Had our usual party of Clerks. A pleasant evening, and they all 
seemed to enjoy it. 

At Christmas-time the giving of pork to the Workpeople 
was quite an institution. Pigs were kept at Stoke, partly 
to consume the refuse fibre from the starch, and at Christ- 
mas each Workman had a gift of pork varying in size 
according to his family, an institution which, in a different 
form, is still kept up. As my Father once wrote, after hav- 
ing been from Carrow to Stoke to see about the distribu- 
tion: 

It will be some satisfadion to know that though they have not a 
Christmas dinner of turkey and its accompaniments, they will get 
something quite as savoury. 

My Grandmother's recoUedions went back to still earlier 
times, when the distribution was made from the scullery 
at the Mill House. 

It is very pleasant, [she wrote to my Father in 1876, after re- 



EARLY BUSINESS DAYS AT STOKE 99 

ceiving her annual present of pork,] to be identified with old customs, 
and my thoughts go back to early days when you were Alan's age 
[nine years old], and Uncle was the Manager, and gave the pork 
(little in quantity then in comparison) from the wash house at 
Stoke, and took tea afterwards in the parlour. 

In earlier days still the arrangement for the Christmas 
dinner must have been yet more patriarchal in charader. 
James Barnes told me : 

When I first went to Stoke [in 1830] we used to get a Christ- 
mas dinner in the flour mill, and we have had it in the granary, 
and in the coach house. The men used to go indoors after dinner, 
and the women used to go into the other room along with Mrs. 
Colman. 

Outside interests, one supposes, were fewer then than 
now. News trickled in much more slowly, and, considering 
the limited sui&age of those days compared with that of 
the present day, it is not surprising to hear that there is 
" a lot more politics talked now than then.'* But when any 
specially stirring events were going on, steps were taken 
to get information, and one of the Workmen tells me he 
remembers, at the time of the Crimean War, that they 
used to go up to the Lion Inn, where a bricklayer, who 
was *^ an out-an-out reader," used to read aloud from the 
« Norfolk News." 

In my Father's Journal, under the date of February 28 th, 
1 849, there occurs the following entry : 

a 

I had almost forgot to mention that on thejadth, we (that is 
J. & J. C.) concluded a negotiation with Mr. Birkett for the pur- 
chase of a piece of land at Thorpe; — ^with the view of perhaps re- 
moving our whole manufadory there. The house is now occupied 
by a Mr. Bacon. The land consists of six and a half acres. . • . 
Ere the time comes that we should remove there, what changes 
may take place, known now only to a wise and compassionate God. 

In the light of after events, the last sentence has almost 
a prophetic ring, for before that dav came his father and 
great-uncle had both passed away, and the burden of moving 



«• « n 



^•^7'i^^«J 



loo JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

the business from Stoke had to rest mainly on his own 
shoulders. 

In these dajrs the cry of " Back to the Land " may apply 
even to manufadories, and experiments can be made of 
placing them in more rural surroundings, with the assured 
belief that the amount of trade will be sufficient to induce 
the railways to accompany them there. But half a century 
ago this was impossible, and the manufaftory that was to 
develop had of necessity to foUow the lines of locomotion. 
Thus it became increasingly important that the business 
with which my Father was conneAed should be transferred 
to a place where there was easy access and egress both by 
rail and water. 

The transference was no easy task, involving; as it did a 
considerable degree of uncertainty, much forethought, and 
a heavy ouday, and entailing a great extra strain on the 
time and strength of those who had to carry it through. 
The resolve made in 1855 to begin to build without 
further delay at Carrow — ^though not, it would seem, on 
the land mentioned in my Father's Journal as having 
been purchased for this purpose — ^led to the move of a con- 
siderable part of the business the following year, but to 
some extent the Works went on simultaneously, so the 
final severance from Stoke did not come until 1862. 



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CHAPTER VIII 

BNOAOSMENT AND MARRIAGB 
1855 1856: AGED 24 26 

EVERY year my Father used to enter in red ink in 
his new pocket-book any special events that had oc- 
curred during his life, so that he might be reminded of 
them as the anniversaries came round. They are *' not all 
in the generally understood sense ^ red letter days,' " he 
once wrote of them, ^* for they include some sad reminders 
as well as the reverse," but amongst the joyous anniversa- 
ries was the following : 

Aug. 6th First Visit to Letheringsett 1845. Cricket Match 11 
Colmah V. Letheringsett. 

Letheringsett Hall, near Holt^ in Norfolk, was my 
Mother's home, from which, eleven years later, he took her 
away as his bride. 

My Grandfather and his ten brothers must have pre- 
sented a quaint appearance on the cricket field, playing, as 
was the custom of the day, in tall hats. They played 
against '^ Eleven gendemen of Letheringsett and riolt," of 
whom my Mother's father (William Hardy Cozens-Hardy), 
and her eldest brother, Clement, formed two. The " Nor- 
folk News " records : 

The morning was wet, and from the great quantity of rain which 
had fallen of late the ground was heavv, which made it difficult 
both for the bowlers and batters $ this circumstance, coupled with 
the bowling being of a different style to that to which the parties 
had been accustomed, kept the score considerably under what was 
anticipated, 

1 01^ 



I02 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Some explanation was obviously needed, for the Lether- 
ingsett team (Messrs. Cozens-Hardy, Rudkin, Thornton, 
F. Withers, Sheringham, Cobon, Girdlestone, W. Withers, 
Nixon, Blakely, and Cozens-Hardy, jun.) scored only 
1 6 and 27 runs resp6ftively in their first and second in- 
nings; while the Colman Brothers (Jeremiah, Samuel, 
Barnard, William, Joseph, Henry, Edward, Thomas, James, 
John, and Robert ^) scored only 34 in their first innings, 
but won the match on their second innings with 7 wickets 
to fall* We are told : 

The wickets were pitched at eleven o'clock, and at half past two 
the company sat down to a sumptuous dinner, in a marquee ereded 
for the occasion. 

The next day a return match was played, the Gslman 
Brothers again being viAorious, winning the match by 84 
runs, the scoring generally being rather higher than on 
the previous day. 

My Mother's family," on her father's side, trace descent 
from Peter Cozens (or Cozen) of Panxworth in Norfolk, 
described in his Will as a Yeoman, who was born about 
the middle of the seventeenth century. He had a son named 
Jeremiah, and on the outside wall of the Church at West- 
wick, in Norfolk, there is a stone bearing the following 
quaint inscription to his memory. 

Here lieth Y« Body 

of Jeremiah Cozen 

He Died Novem: y^: 29 

11748: Aged: 63: 

he had 2 Wives Sarah & 

Eliz: by Eliz: he left issue 

£liz: & Jeremiah. 

^ The names are given here in the order in which they went in to the 
wicket. 

* For a genealogical table, see end of the book. 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE 103 

All 70U that do me pass by 
Remember Death for you must dy 
For as you are so once was I 
And as I am so must you be 
Therefore prepare to follow me. 

He had a son, and a grandson, both named Jeremiah. 
The latter, born in 1766, was my Mother's grandfather. 
Leaving Westwick at the beginning of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, he setded, probably after a short interlude at Tud- 
denham, at Oak Lodge, Sprowston, near Norwich, where 
he had bought a farm in 1802. He married, as his second 
wife, Mary Ann Hardy, the daughter of William and 
Mary Hardy of Letheringsett HaU, whose family hailed 
from Scotton, ia Yorkshire. They had one son (my Grand- 
father), who received the names of William Hardy; but 
in 1842, on the death of his maternal unde, William 
Hardy, who had pra&ically adopted him, my Grandfiither 
inherited his property at Letheringsett, and under the 
terms of the Will had to take his surname in addition to 
his own. Thus the fkmily name was changed from Cozens 
to Cozens-Hardy. 

The Cozens ramily was supposed originally to have been 
of Huguenot extraction, and to have come over to Eng- 
land on account of relimous persecutions abroad. If so, 
this may have been betore the EdiA of Nantes in 1598, 
as it seems probable Peter Cozens was already in Norfolk 
9t the time of its Revocation in 1685. An advertisement 
which appeared in the *^ Times" in 1854, asking for in- 
formation about descendants of certain families, ^^ fugitives 
from France to England, prosecuted for religion,'* in 
which the name of Jeremiah Cozens appeared, led to some 
inquiries being made. Unfortunately the connexion was 
never authenticated, but the martyr spirit of the Hugue- 
nots always appealed to my Mother's imagination, and she 
liked to reel there was a possible connedion between her 
and them. This appealed to her much more than mere 



I04 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

rank. Her sympathies would have gone out to one of the 
Colman dan, Mr. S. C. Cobnan, who once wrote: 

I am told that on my Mother's side (the Crackenthorps) there is 
documentary evidence of our descent from Henry II of England^ 
but I exped probably some of my noble ancestors have not such 
fragrant memories as to make one proud of the ancestry. In the 
past days I consider father and son being deacons of a Noncon- 
formist Church was a far better testimonial to character than being 
of noble blood. 

My Mother's fether married, in 1830, Sarah, a daughter 
of Thomas Theobald (a son of John and Mary Theobald), 
who was a Freeman of Norwich, and a manufa&urer of 
textile fabrics in that city, and who had married Elizabeth 
Colman, of Ashwellthorpe. So my Father and Mother were 
second cousins. 

My Mother was born on May 9th, 1 83 1, and was named 
Caroline. She was the eldest of a family of four sons and 
five daughters, of whom now (in 1905) the sons alone 
survive. Her father and mother had a long married life, 
for they lived to see sixty-one anniversaries of their wed- 
ding (ky. They spent all these years at Letheringsett, 
living first at the house at the four cross-ways, opposite to 
the Keftory, and afterwards at the Hall. 

My Grandfather loved an a<%ive open air life. He de- 
lighted in gardening and forestry, and followed in his 
uncle*s steps by taking the keenest interest in developing 
and keeping up the estate. He began life as a solicitor, 
but gave up practising in the early 'forties, when it was 
suggested he should be nominated in his unde*s place as a 
magistrate for Norfolk, solicitors not then being eligible to 
serve as county magistrates. 

Of outside interests he had plenty. His work in building 
the British School at Holt, and subsequently as a member 
of more than one School Board, and that also in conne6tion 
with the Reepham Provident Society, and as a Poor Law 
Guardian and a Magistrate gave him plenty of scope for his 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE 105 

energetic nature. Some of his experiences, extending over 
a long series of years, he embodied in two articles m the 
" Eastern Daily Press,*' in 1 895, one on Poor Law Work 
and the other on Norfolk Highways, in which there were 
many interesting reminiscences, showing the contrast be- 
tween the old d^ys and the new. 

Even in boyhood's days my Father seems to have fallen 
a viftim to the fascination of Letheringsett. The year after 
his first visit he was there again apparently, for his father, 
who was staying for change of air at what was then de- 
scribed as " that retired little town of Cromer," had occa- 
sion to write to his son at Letheringsett '^ hoping to see 
you so soon as you have finished your visit, which you 
must not prolong beyond what prudence didates, but as 
you are now sixteen, we begin to have confidence that you 
know in this matter how to manage yourself." And four 
days later he wrote ajgain, saying, ^' I hope you will thank 
Mrs. G>zens-Hardy tor her great kindness to you. You 
must have had a very pleasant visit." 

Doubtless the change from his own auiet surroundings 
to the home where there was plenty ot young life had a 
special attraAion for him. One who knew the inmates of 
the household well in those days has said, ^^ To me there 
were no children like them in all the earth," so bright and 
lively, and yet so good-tempered, she says they were. 
Several years later, just after my Father's engagement, he 
wrote to his future brother-in-law, Herbert: 

You know I have had no brothers of my own, so I shall value 
the more highly the new ones I am to have by and bye. Will you 
therefore look on me as an increase to your circle, and not an in- 
truder? 

It was on January 30th, 1855, that my Father and 
Mother became engaged, the marriage taking place the 
foUowing year. My Mother most truly shared all her 
husband s beliefs, hopes, and ideals. No one can say how 



io8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

sorrows and anxieties and joys of mv life, her loving sym- 
pathy never foiled." My Mother's wide svmpathies were in- 
deed largely drawn on, for, being the eldest^ it was natural 
that her brothers and sisters in any times of difficulty or 
trouble should look to her for the guidance and sympathy 
which never failed. In a family united by strong ties of 
affeftion, she was described by one of them at the close 
of her life as " the bond of our family." 

Another letter from her brother Herbert, written to one 
of my sisters, gives some further light on my Mother's char- 
after, and shows something of the atmosphere in which she 
was brought up. 

Her religious convi6tions were always deep and yet singularly 
broad. Never can I forget what I owe to her influence at a most 
critical period. 

It is not easy to trace the various circumstances which helped to 
form and to mould her strong charafter. If I do not enlarge upon 
the influence exerted by her father and mother, to both of whom she 
was fondly attached, you will understand that the reason is that they 
have lived long enough for their characteristics to be well-known to 
you. But I am not sure that you fiiUy realise the peculiar atmosphere 
which surrounded her in and after 1849. Brought up as Wesieyan 
Methodists, in all the strict and quiet ways of a Puritan fiunily, we 
suddenly found ourselves in the midst of what was known as the 
Wesieyan Reform Movement, in which your grandfather took a 
leading part. The expulsion of Everett, Dunn and Griffith was fol- 
lowed by the expulsion or secession of a large number of the more 
liberal members of the Connexion. At Holt we were turned out 
of the Chapel, and for some time we had service in a barn, one end 
of which was piled with corn. Our daily talk was about religious 
liberty and freedom of conscience. These ideas became part of your 
Mother's nature, and kept her safe against all the allurements of ec- 
clesiasticism. 

Her political views were advanced, and she sometimes shocked 
your more timid grandmother. 

My Mother took the keenest interest in the religious 
movement referred to in this letter, and when barely twenty 
wrote some articles on it for two Wesieyan Magazines, 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE 109 

The Reform Movement centred round the question of 
how far the Wesleyan Conference had authority over the in- 
dividual members of the Denomination. Some dissatisfac- 
tion with this central body had been expressed by the three 
Ministers already mentioned, and on their refusal to answer 
some questions put by the Conference, considering them of 
an inquisitorial nature, they were expelled from the Con- 
nexion. My Grandfather took a leading part in the agitation 
that followed. His views, as he expressed them in the " Nor- 
folk News,*' on the Wesleyan Conference, were: 

Conference has endeavoured to destroy all freedom of speech, fre^ 
dom of discussion, freedom of adion, of even liberty of the Press. 
Can this be tamely submitted to by Englishmen in the nineteenth 
Century ? 

My Mother's passionate love of freedom, both in matters 
religious and political, was quickly roused, or perhaps partly 
formed, by these events. Changes did not daunt her. To her 
they often seemed essential. ^^The young man asks whether 
the purposed change be right — ^the old man whether it be 
prudent ^^^ she wrote in one of her articles on the controversy. 

Ultimately the seceders amalgamated with the Wesleyen 
Methodist Association to form the Denomination known as 
the United Methodist Free Churches, and my Mother up to 
the close of her life at Letheringsett was conneded with this. 

Other papers on different subjeds were written by her 
about the same time for these magazines. 

One was addressed to Sunday School Teachers, in which 
she emphasised the necessity of careful preparation for 
teaching, and the importance of training the children aright 

Another was to Servants, begging them to raise them- 
selves above being mere mechanical drudges, and devote 
any leisure time they might have to the cultivation of their 
mental powers; adding incidentally her testimony to the 
heroism often shown by them, and instancing the case of 
one she knew, who braved the risk of infe&ion from disease, 
and thought " no toil too great, no care too intense, no 



no JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

watchfulness too unremitting/* if the sufferings of the one 
. she served might in the slightest degree be alleviated. 

Another on " The Common People " gave examples of 
some who had risen from humble surroundings to high 
positions, and ended with the question and answer: 

What is the lesson Christ's example should teach us i That true 
dignity consists not in external pomp, but in intrinsic worth. 

A few extrafts from letters written by her in 1855 or 
1856 will show, better than any words of mine, something 
of the trend of her beliefs and ideals: 

The conclusion of his speech I liked the best when he touched 
upon the benefits arising from Literary Societies, Mechanics' In- 
stitutes, etc., and the incalculable importance of mental culture to 
all classes from the very highest to the very lowest. 

I have no belief in the dbflrine that a ^^ litde knowledge is a 
dangerous thing," unless you go on to say that »« knowledge is still 
more dangerous. 

[On Sabbath Observance.] After all, the great difficulty lies not 
in abstaining from those outward a^s which are inconsistent with 
keeping the Sabbath holy, but in preserving the thoughts from 
; wandering, zxiA fixing them upon those $ubje<% which are infinitely 
more important than the matters which engross so much of our 
attention during the week. 

I verily believe many people refi;ard heaven as a sort of walled-in 
Sebastopol, and if they feel sme of getting within the fortifications, 
safe from the " fiery darts " of their enemies, that is all that they 
care about. They forget diat religion ought to be progressive, and 
that they ought to strive daily to becomie more earnest and more 
devoted in trying to conquer those evJl tempers which are so in- 
consistent in those who profess to be followers of Christ, but which 
poor human nature, finds it terribly difficult to. subdue. 

[On the death of a lady she knew.] These events ought to 

teach us to cling less tenaciously to earthly joys and ^rthly scenes 

than we are apt to do, tho ' I do not think it follows that we ought 

to cherish less strongly e^hly friendships — ^f^r if they sire of the 

.right kind they are »«/.ti:ansitory, but will be enjoyed j^ #t/#r.^ 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE iii 

For so long as you fix your strongest afie£tions on things which 
are eternal there is no reason why you should not enjoy, without 
mournful forebodings^ the blessings of this life. 

But we cannot enjoy any blessings without at the same time 
incurring proportionate responsibilities, and this it is which makes 
life such a serious thing. 

My Mother took a deep delight in Nature. G>wper'8 
line, ^^ God made the country, and man made the town," 
was an aphorism often on her lips. It was always a trial 
for her to be any length of time in London, and she pined 
for country sights and sounds. Botany was a special interest 
to her, and before her marriage she made a large colledion 
of pressed wild flowers. In those days, too, riding on horse- 
back was one of her pleasures. 

There must have been plenty for her to do in the home 
at Letheringsett) with so many brothers and sisters to be 
looked after* She was evidently a great stay to her mother, 
althou^ she never professed to be fond of the housekeeping 
part. Thus she wrote shortly before her marriage: 

Granny has just come in from the kitchen department looking 
the pi£hire of thoughtfiilness to ask me how I wished a knuckle of 
veal to be cooked ! 1 I told her it was a matter of the most perfed in- 
diffi^ence to (ne, and that I woidd rather not answer the question, 
as I did not know in how many different ways a knuckle of veal 
could be cooked! Have / not good reason to be alarmed when I 
see an old experienced housekeeper like Grandma discussing in the 
gravest manner what dinner she shall order for two people! 

Still my Mother never shirked difl[iculties, and this, like 
others, had to be surmounted when she had a house of her 
own to look after. 

Her Father also looked to her for help, and she used to 
do a good deal of writing for him. There were also outside 
interests claiming attention. A Bible Class for girls at Holt, 
visits with her mother to the Workhouse to x&A to the in- 

> 

mates, and the interchange of books amongst the villagers 
were amongst her duties. 



112 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

The first few days after the engagement of my Father 
and Mother were clouded with sorrow, reminding them, 
as he said, '^ that this life cannot be all sunshine. Perhaps, 
yea, doubtless, it is well to be deeply impressed with this 
truth at the very outset." This reference was to a three-fold 
anxiety. Her Grandmother Cozens was ill at Pitt Street, 
in Norwich, and her Grandmother Theobald, who lived at 
Letheringsett Hall during many years of her widowhood, 
was more alarmingly ill, and for a time not expeded to 
recover, and one with whom my Father was closely asso- 
ciated was taken ill at Jiis mother's house. This was the 
Rev. Samuel Kent, formerly the Minister of a Baptist 
Chapel at Biggleswade. He had been a frequent visitor 
at the MiU House at Stoke, and after my Grandfather's 
death it was arranged for him to go and live in the vil- 
lage, partly to aA as confidential secretary to my Father, and 
partly to look after the welfare of the Workmen and their 
nunilies. As my Father had expressed it: 

There is no doubt about its being our duty — and I should say 
privilege — to attend to the moral state of our men, but the great 
difficulty is to find a suitable person. 

Scarcely was the arrangement made, promising so well, 
when Mr. Kent was struck down by the iUness which 
ended fatally in a few days. The loss to my Father of one 
on whom he h^ hoped to rely for assistance in coping 
with the heavy additional work thrown on his shoulders 
was very great. As he expressed it: 

A more kind and pleasant companion, or a truer friend jfbr sorrow 
as well as joy was seldom seen here. We shall feel his lo^ most 
deeply, but must rest on the knowledge that ^* all thing? work to- 
gether for good.** 

In 1855, during part of May and June, my Father was 
in Devonshire with his mother and sister and my Mother. 
They were going to make it, so my Father wrote in a letter 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE 113 

to my Mother, " a sort of Naturalist's Tour, for with jrou 
after ferns, my Mother wild flowers, Esther specimens for 
the Aquarium, and I looking for insefts, of which I want 
to get some, we shall indulge in rather a rustic turn/* The 
letter spoke of providing other occupation in the form of 
reading: 

I suppose we may as well have just a little Poetry, a touch of 
Science, one or two Tales, some Divinity, and a touch of Politics, 
for you know variety is extremely pleasing. 

It was a trip they always looked back on with special 
delight. 

On May 27th, 1856, Peace was celebrated at the close 
of the Crimean War. My Father gave his Workmen a 
holiday, and took them to Norwich in wagons to witness 
the rejoicings. His account of it to my Mother was: 

Of course a dinner was out of the question at such late notice, 
so we made the best of it we could and provided bread and cheese, 
and beer for about 300 at Carrow at 1.30 and some tea with bread 
and buns at 6.30. No butter and no milk. I told them it was quite 
a hastily got up aflfair, they must put up with some inconveniences, 
and to make things all right told them too I hope to start the 
Mustard Mill and take possession of my house some time this year, 
and thin they should have a dinner, to which I hope you'll say 
Amen. TiUett went down in the evening and said a few words to 
them, and altogether they seemed in good tune with themselves 
and every one else. 

The following month my Father went to Paris, setting 
foot on a foreign land for the first time, his mother, and 
sister. Miss Eliza Blakely, and Mr. Tillett (who was to 
be joined there by his son William) being in the party. 
Some of my Father's refledions on the place, given in letters 
to my Mother, may be of interest: 

Paris is certainly a fine city, but I think the private houses are 
not so fine as in London, though the public buildings are very fine, 
and the sculpture of course far surpassing anything we can show in 

I 



114 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

England. I am not however so enthusiastic in favour of Paris as 
some people, and should not like to live in it for long, though it 
would be pleasant enough for a few weeks. 

The Louvre he thought " a charming place, and one that 
wants much more time than I could give to it.*' His 
description goes on: 

The Emperor is at St. Cloud so I don't know whether we shall 
see him driving about with his wife. Indeed I care verv little 
about it. He is they say more popular than ever in a certam way, 

hut from what says I think there is a feeling that he may 

overdo it all, and, as we English have it, go up like a rocket, and 
come down like a stick. . . . 

Here I am experiencing for the first time the sensations of a 
Paris Sunday, and I dare say you don't envy them, as you know 
from experience the longing for a quiet day, and also the bustle 
the Sabbath brings to Pans. I should very much like to know the 
efledt this constant whirl has on the length of life here. It would 
be a most instrudive enquiry, though which way it would tend I 
hardly know, for it may be that our custom in England which un- 
doubtedly sends many of our people to the moral and physical pol- 
lution of Beer or Gin shops on the Sunday shortens their lives 
quite as much as the gay revelry of Paris. 

It is hardly surprising that a Roman Catholic Service he 
attended was not to his taste. But he was interested in 
hearing a " French sermon from the most celebrated Pro- 
testant Minister in the City." He adds: 

I forget his name but he was ele£led a member of the National 
Assembly imder the Republic. We couldn't understand much of 
it, but I was quite glad to have been there, and seen the earnest- 
ness and vivacity with which the French people can preach as well 
as do anything ebe they take in hand. 

My Father and Mother were married at the British 
School Room at Hfalt on September 25th, 1856, the Rev. 
George Gould, of Norwich, officiating. She had hoped 
there would be "no unnecessary fuss," a thing quite 
foreign to her ns^ture. Ther^ were about thirty in ^ at the 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE 115 

wedding breakfast, many of whom subsequently drove 
down to Cley for lunch, meeting; ac^ain at Letheringsett 
for supper, when the health of the bride and bride&^room 
was proposed. The festivities ended, with fireworks for 
the villagers, and all seems to have passed off merrily 
enough, m spite of the h,A that " the fireworks did not go 
off very well," and were probably "damp and very likely 
not managed quite properly." 

My Father and Mother started on their married life 
with many expressions of goodwill, both from his Work- 
people and from the villagers round Letheringsett, expres- 
sions which gave them both unfeigned pleasure. As my 
Mother put it: 

It is wonderfully grateful to one's own feelings to know that 
you have the good wishes of the pocr^ for they are often hr more 
sincere than their richer neighbours. 

She had paid a farewell visit to '^ almost every house in 
the village," and had " said good-bye to my old women at 
the Workhouse," leaving instruAions for them to " have 
a good tea on our wedding day, with which they seemed 
much pleased." 

Amongst the wedding presents — in those days much 
less numerous than now — ^was a silver 6pergne, given to 
my Father by the Clerks and Travellers connefted with the 
JRirm of J. & J. Colman. This he greatly valued, and in 
bequeathing it by Will to his son, he expressed the hope 
that he would treat it as an heirloom. In writing to his 
mother he said: 

This present I do value most highly, for it certainly tells a tale 
of the past, and I hope we shall always maintain the same chara^er 
at Stoke Mills or Carrow. At all events I shall try to do so, and 
feel pretty sure I shall have the power to succeed. Without any 
disparagement to other kind friends and their presents, this was 
par excelUnci the one of the day and what I shall value more than 
all the rest, it being so spontaneous and kindly done, 



ii6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

And in his letter of thanks to the donors, addressed to 
Mr, S. Harvard, he wrote: 

It is customary for one's personal friends to give presents on 
such occasions, and therefore they come more as a matter of course, 
but this is so much an extra afiair that its value is immensely in- 
creased, and yet there is one sense in which it will rank with 
other presents, viz. : that I consider it is truly from personal friends. 
. . . Valued it will be now and how much more so lo or %o 
years hence, should life be spared so long, if i am then able to 
feel that those who gave me this on my marriage day are not 
then in other spheres but are still ^bout me, and that we have so 
long, without any jarrings, been of mutual benefit. Happy this 
would be, and happier still to feel that though this world's engage- 
ments have been rightly filled by each, the business of Life has not 
been negleded, and that we shall meet again with one another and 
with those whose daily engagements were once in the posts we 
now fill, and shall together without any social distindions have left 
the cares of earth for the eternal peace of Heaven. 

My Father's hopes thus expressed found a response 
nearly forty years later, when one of the stafF at Carrow 
Works wrote about him, in a letter to Mr. S. C. Colman : 

We are all hoping that an increase of health and strength will 
result to him from the holiday and treatment — for our afifedions 
go out strongly towards the kindly master who is ever shewing 
unexpeded consideration for those who have the happiness of 
serving him, and who is, to many of us, the dearest friend we have 
in the world. * 

My Father's " regards for those at Carrow who render 
constant and faithful service," as he once expressed it, 
were very strong, and he always regretted, in the later 
years of his life, that the increase in numbers, and the 
many claims on his time, made it impossible for him to 
come into personal touch with many of those conneded 
with the Works. 

My Father and Mother started on their wedding trip 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE 117 

to Ireland, having {MX)vided themselves with an assortment 
of literature, for, as he wrote, '^ Books are never an ill 
store, and rainy weather may make us prisoners some- 
times/' After spending the first night at Peterborough, 
their route included Dublin, Belfast, the Giant's Causeway, 
Colendne, Limerick, Killarney, GlengariiF, Cork, and 
Kingstown. The poverty and dirt of the people, and the 
efFefts of the famine, struck my Father painfully. From 
GlengariiF he wrote: 

The famine was very severe here, and has thinned the popula- 
tion fearfully. I think we drove yesterday 1 1 miles without coming 
to a house. Our driver said there used to be many houses till the 
famine came, and he said, ^ Some went to America, but more of 
them died." It was no unconunon thing to find several hale men 
lying dead by the road-side. The Irish still live almost entirely on 
tne Potato, and were it to fail again they would be in great 
distress. 

And from Limerick he wrote to a fnend: 

Ireland is a country you would like as regards scenery— 4ome of 
it is very fine-— other parts luxuriant so that it has not its name of 
Emerald without deserving it, but the wretched filth and poverty 
of the people is past description, and yet almost all I have talked 
to say it is much better in this respe6l than it was a few years back. 
Even in its present state it is lamentable to an English eye, and 
like many other things — to wit a Paris Sunday — must be seen to 
be understood. The hovels in which they live are miserable, many 
of them such as I should be ashamed to keep as pig-sties — ^yet witn 
all this the people look bright and happy generally speaking, and 
bear out the proverbial national chara^er. I must say too that 
beggars are not so numerous as I expected. ... As a country 
Ireland possesses immense natural advantage — ^all that is needed to 
make a nation great and prosperous is hers, and she certainly ought 
to be one of £e fairest gems in the English Crown, ana so she 
may be by and bye. 

During the trip came the second anniversary of his 
father's death. His thoughts were very much with his 
mother during that time, and he took care to write to ask 



ii8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

a friend to give her a look then, because he knew this 
might help to cheer her, and wrote to her: 

You won't think that I am forgetting you tbis tveeiy even though 
I don't say much, and am in the midst of so much that is attrac* 
tive and beautiful. I can't do much, but what I can I will in 
making your bereavement as light as possible, and you may be sure 
T>f one thing, that though absent now I shall not rail to remember 
you in my prayers before that God whose eye is iverywbere^ with 
me as well as with you, and who will watch over us whether in 
journeyings of the sort I am now on, or the longer and grander 
journey we all take — of life. 






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CHAPTER IX 

EARLY DAYS AT CARROW 

MY Father and Mother returned from their wedding 
trip to Norwich, taking up their abode at Carrow 
House, which his mother had been busy getting in order 
for their home-coming. This house had been bought from 
Mrs. Page Scott, who had been living there. A suggestion 
that they might buy a larger house at Thorpe fell through, 
my Father reeling the other plan was more prudent, and 
my Mother too having a great aversion " to young people 
showing a want of prudence in commencing life." Though 
Carrow House was chosen, mv Father felt that they might 
be inclined, later on, " to find a quieter place quite away 
from the sight of the Mills," and suggested they might, 
^^ should business be prosperous, find a snug quiet place 
with a nice litde farm a mile or two from Norwich." But 
four years later my Mother had occasion to write: 

I am thoroughly glad to find that Jeremiah feels he shall prefer 
to live at Carrow for 8 or lo years to come, for I like the place 
extremely, and I know I shoula not see anything like as much of 
JeH*. if I lived 2 miles from the Works. As a general rule I should 
be alone fi'om 9 am. till 6 p.m. 

Time only increased their attachment to the place. Sub- 
sequent alterations to the house, and an extension of the 
garden, made it more attradtive, and in the end they never 
wished to leave it, a seaside home at Corton, where they 
spent part of the year, taking the place of the " nice little 
farm." 

In getting fresh things for the new house, before their 

119 



I20 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

wedding, my Father's love of pidures had shown itsdfl 
Thus he wrote to my Mother: 

I think as you and I are so fond of prints we shall like quite as 
well to spend some money in this way instead of about showy and 
gorgeous furniture, displaying as it often does much want of taste^ 
and being too a great eye-sore. 

This, it must be remembered, was at the time when 
" Early ViAorian " stood for everything that was horrible 
in house decoration. About the same time he has 1^ on 
record the resxilt of an interview with a piAure agent: 

He came to tell me about Ansdell's picture — ^ The Wounded 
Hound " — ^with which I told you I was much struck. I had de- 
termined to have nothing to do with it, and kept away from the 
place lest I should be tempted to do any rash adl, but it seemed of 
no use for the thing seemed literally to haunt me, so I asked him 
to meet me at the train on Monday morning, and told him that if 
he could get the pi£hire at a reduction to let me know, and I 
would sell 3 or 4 fair pi£tures I had determined to keep, and have 
a really good one instead. I have no doubt it will be bought to-day^ 
so you may expedi to see it when you return from Ireland on the 
walls at Carrow — 

where it still hangs. 

In an unfinished account of the Manchester Exhibition 
of 1857, intended as a supplemental article to one he 
wrote for the " Norfolk News," he has shown how much 
pidures appealed to him. He contrasted that Exhibition 
with the one held in London in 1851: 

Just as emphatically as 1851 saw the homage to Industry, so 
does 1857 witness the homage to Art. . . . The Hyde Park col- 
le<^ion was fine, but there is a marked difierence in the fad that 
its contents were modern, and could easily have been replaced, 
perhaps improved. In the present instance we have what *^ Once 
destroyed, could never be supplied." 

He did not, he told his readers, write on the one hand 
to those who ^^ look on a fine painting as no better than 



EARLY DAYS AT CARROW lai 

a cover to a bare wall/' nor on the other hand to art 
critics: 

But if, like ourselves, you know a little of the fine arts and love 
diem better, if you can read a painting as an expression of the 
Artist's soul, let us go round the gallery together. ... A good 
painting tells its own tale, no matter what it be* You see at oncae 
the idea that was in the Artist's mind when he painted it, and i^ 
it joy or grief, calnmess or excitement, pleasure or pain, or what- 
ever the emotion be, it comes from the canvas to the mind of the 
observer. And how strongly too, for memory will call up the scene 
lone after the pidure is banished from sisht, so that the general 
oudine, if not the detail, is ever be^re us. But then a good pidure 
will bear to be studied suid conned over, till we ahnost fancy our- 
selves watching each touch of the pencil, and finding with each 
stroke new beauties and fresh delights. As Nature has her poetry 
and romance, so have paintings, and happy is he who can read 
them. • . . And then again what variety does painting afibrd. On 
the one hand there are the various Scripture incidents with their 
pathos, their poetry, their suffering or their joy : there are the in- 
cidents of domestic life and the fireside home, calling up the springs 
of memory: there is landscape of all sorts, from the skies of 
Venice to the chilly cold of the Northern Pole : there are the in- 
cidents of history, sometimes black with the wrongs of persecution, 
sometimes glorious in the struggle for freedom : the sea in calm- 
ness or in storm: and then the portraits of those we have rever- 
enced in history or loved at home — all find their place in the 
pidure gallery of fiincy, and tell their own tale to the inquirer and 
the student. . . . And shall we not when we gaze on a fine old 
painting, and watch where with eager hand, but perhaps throbbing 
brow, the Artist himself laid each stroke, feel indeed communion 
with him, and that though centuries may have passed away ^^ he 
being dead yet speaketh '' — to say the least in as close and intimate 
a way as an author whose works we read. 

This love of pi Aures he retained through life. Living 
in a city famous for its School of Painters, his interest not 
unnaturally centred round their works, and he gradually 
nuule a colleftion of pidtures by the Cromes (John, or 
^^ Old Crome," as he is usually designated, and his son, 
John Berney), John Sell Cotman, and his two sons, Miles 



122 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

and John Joseph, Vincent, Stark, the Stannards, Middle- 
ton, Lound, Daniell, Bright, Sandys, and other local 
artists. 

Photography had attraded him in early days, but this 
was before the days of Kodaks, and the alarming size of 
the apparatus was more than he felt able to cope with. In 
1856 he wrote: 

I had been thinking of taking some lessons so that one could 
take some views when out amongst good scenery, but yesterday as 
I came home I saw in front of me a dog-cart with 2 people and a 
heavy load, so that the little horse seemed quite bothered to get 
along, and when I came up what should it be but 2 Amateur 
Photographers and their apparatus, so this put me off the mind, at 
all events for the present 

My Father and Mother entered on their married life 
finding ample scope for their aAivities. The management 
of the Business, in itself a heavy work, was made doubly 
difficult for my Father by its being carried on partly at 
Stoke and partly at Carrow, and during the first six years 
of his married life he had frequently to go out to the little 
village. There was abundant need for his powers of organ- 
ization and capacity for work, but a real interest in business 
life enabled him to cope with many difficulties. Even tall 
chimneys gave him some pleasure : 

I was extremely pleased with the country, [he had written, 
after a visit to Yorkshire,] notwithstanding the chimneys and smoke 
of which ladies have such a horror. I don't mean that the land- 
scape would not have been quite as well without them, but as a 
business man I knew that they were the sign of something doing 
that would bring prosperity to old England, and so be direSly or 
indirectly a benefit to us all. 

The land at Stoke on which the Mills stood, at one time 
owned by the Firm, had been sold to Mr. Long, who lived 
at Dunston, but it was still rented by J. & J. Colman. 
Though it is clear the idea of moving the Works had been 



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EARLY DAYS AT CARROW 123 

in the minds of the Partners for some years, jet the first 
Mill built at Carrow — ^the Mustard Mill — ^was not begun 
until the spring of 1856, this event being expedited hj 
difficulties raised by Mr. Long as to the renewal of the 
lease at Stoke. 

The land at Carrow was not all bought in one piece. 
One part, where the ^* Gmrow Gardens Inn stood, now 
covered by the Flour Mill, was used as a tea garden, and 
there was a little creek for pleasure boats ; while within a 
stone's throw was another public house, known by the 
name of " Norwich a Port," on the site now used for the 
entrahce to the Carrow Works' Refreshment Rooms. More 
land was gradually acquired, including that belonging; to 
the estate which had been owned by Dr. Philip Meadows 
Martineau, which could not be bought until 1878. This 
included the two houses, Carrow Abbey and Bracondale 
Woods. 

When the break with Stoke finally came, my Father felt 
keenly saying good-bye to the place so fuU of associations, 
both grave and gay. On Odober 6th, 1862, he wrote to 
his sister : 

I was at Stoke on Tuesday and shall go down again this week 
to take a last look — at all events for the present — which I shall do 
with a good deal of regret, remembering the very many happy days 
spent there, and the lengthened association with the place. • • . 
What Mr. Long will do with the place I cannot imagine. I have 
a notion one of these days we shall have it again, for I do not think 
it will let — at all events up to the present time there has been no 
application whatever. We don't want it, but there is something in 
old association. At all events I shall let him know that if at anv 
time he alters his mind and is disposed to give us the ofier, we shall 
be happy to hear from hini. Possibly, however — perhaps probably 
*-I may be wrong, and he will not yield. 

His mother wrote in reply : 

We mingle our tears of love and remembrance over the quitting 
Stoke. It was a pleasure to me to know you had the feeling : never 
let that tenderness be laughed out of you. 



124 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

My Mother from the first was keenly interested in all 
that concerned those employed at Girrow Works. Fler 
help was invaluable to my Father. It was a real pleasiire 
to her to take under her care any branch of it which speci- 
ally needed a woman's guidance, such as the Schools and 
Kitchen Department, though she would have been the last 
to feel that her work merited any outside recognition. She 
was delighted, at the time of her marriage, to hear of die 
preparations for dinners for the Clerks and Foremen, and 
other festivities for those at Stoke, in honour of the events 
and one of the first considerations after the return from the 
honeymoon, was the arrangements for a dinner at Gurow 
for the Workpeople. Of this she wrote in a letter to her 
brother: 

You will be glad to hear that the dinner yesterday passed oSwelL 
About 600 dined in 2 granaries opening into one another. After- 
wards there was a little music between toasts and some speechifying. 
. . . After we left them the men had pipes, and the women tea. 
They dispersed about 9. I felt quite anxious about tjie afiair, and 
thankful when the result proved that all the arrangemen;ts wi^re 
complete for the people's comfort. 

In addressing the Workmen on that occasion, my Father 
laid down two principles : 

The bond between us should be mutual respe£t. • « • 
All Classes must work somehow or other in this country if she 
is to maintain her high position. 

His speech revealed a wide sympathy with the special 
dangers and difficulties of a workman's position, 

M V Father always felt strongly that the relations between 
Employer and Employed ought not to end with the mere 
payment of J[^ s. d. for work done. Indeed, when the 
Business was converted into a G)mpany in 189.6, though 
it meant no change in the personnel of the Firm, he hai a 
special clause inserted in the Memorandum of Association, 
to the effeft that the support of certain charitable institutions 



EARLY DAYS AT CARROW 125 

or agencies was amongst the objefts of the Company^ the 
absence of such a clause being sometimes an excuse for 
minimising the philanthropic side of a Company's work. 

The question of a School for the children of the Gutow 
Workmen was one of the early things needing considera- 
tion. It was opened in Odiober 1857, in an upper room in 
King Street, up an opening by the Red Lion Inn, the room 
being reached by a step-ladder with a hand-rail. Maria 
Cogman, the schoolmistress at Stoke, was transferred to 
this School. The first year there were 22 children in at- 
tendance, a number which had increased in 1866 to 200, 
and by 1870 to 324. This had necessitated better accom- 
modation, and in 1864 the first block ereded on Carrow 
Hill was opened. But by 1871 this proved all too small; 
scholars had to be refused, and it was decided to turn some 
adjoining cottages into another block for two departments 
of^^the school. 

The details of the school management, both scholastic 
and architedural, were left largely in my Mother's hands. 
On the completion of the first of the new buildings, her 
work was acknowledged by two gifts, which she gready 
yalued. One was a fine harmonium, given by the Clerks 
and Travellers conneded with the Firm, and the other, an 
oak music seat, to go with it, from the Teachers in the 
Sunday School. In a letter to her brother, she said it was 
little wonder she ^^ felt overpowered by such an unexpeded 
present," and that her husband, in returning thanks, ^^ could 
hardly speak for he felt most deeply the kind feeling which 
had didated the gift." The reading desk, which, with the 
other presents, still occupies the same position on the plat- 
form, was a present from her father. 

The School was for many years carried on at the entire 
cost of J. & J. Colman, the school fees of one penny per 
week for a child, and one half-penny for others of the same 
family, being only about sufficient for school prizes. As 
my Father expressed it : 



126 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

M^ Partners and I think this a sound and legitimate way of 
assisting the Workpeople in the education of their children. 

In 1 87 1, my Father was able to make an arrangement 
with the Education Department to place the School under 
Government InspeAion, although no grant was taken. My 
Mother always rejoiced in the praise meted out in many 
of the reports, ancl greatly valued the zealous work put into 
the School by those on whom the burden of teaching rested. 

In 1 89 1 the recent alterations in the educational arrange- 
ments for the country, relative to School Fees, made my 
Father re-consider the position of the School. Consequendy 
the announcement was made in a circular issued by the 
Firm that, ^* as advocates of Free UnseAarian Education 
wherever attendance is compulsory, we have decided to 
make the Carrow School free." At the same time the 
Government Grant was applied for, and the School was no 
longer confined to the children of Carrow Workmen, though 
they always formed the large majority. 

It was not until 1 900 that the management of the School 
was handed over to the School Board, the Firm still retain- 
ing the buildings. Though this was not until after my 
Father's death, the idea had been in contemplation for some 
years. The School had been started long before School 
Boards were thought of, when there was a crying need for 
voluntary effort. But my Father recognized the growth of 
public opinion in favour of placing education under public 
control, and the improvement made in the Board Schools 
since their formation in 1870, and he had come to feel that 
the money spent in keeping up the Carrow School might 
be more usefully employed in helping the Carrow Work- 
men in other ways. 

In connection with the School, my Father had had the 
opportunity of carrying into effeft some of his views on 
education. He had a strong belief in manual training ; and 
instruction in Cookery, Gardening, Bee-keeping, Bent Iron 
Work, Slojd and Laundry work were from time to time 



EARLY DAYS AT CARROW 127 

introduced. The School did a good deal of pioneer work 
in these directions, for much of it was done at first in spite 
of opposition from the Education Department, and the fadfc 
of taking no grant alone made it possible to be insistent 
on reforms of this kind. My Father and Mother were al- 
ways grateful for the advice and sympathy they received 
firom the Rev. F. Synge, H.M. InspeAor for Schools in 
Norwich, who was keenly interested in escperiments in 
manual training. In later years my Father was glad to feel 
that the Department had modified its cast-iron methods, 
and manual instrudlion was at last being encouraged. He 
felt that evening schools ought to be made much more 
attraAive than they were then, by introducing manual in- 
struftion of a varied kind, and a successful school was started 
at Carrow on these lines. 

The same buildings were also used for a Sunday School. 
This had been started at the King Street Room on January 
loth, 1858, but was transferred to Carrow Hill when that 
building was completed, the first time of meeting there 
being March 27th, 1864. My Mother for many years 
taught the senior class of girls, and my Father's sister, and 
Miss Lucy Clarkson (who lived at Gu-row House for many 
years), and many other willing helpers assisted in the work. 
My Father used sometimes to give Addresses. One of these 
was at the opening of the School in 1858. Being on the 
second Sunday in January, the Address touched on the 
New Year : 

It is a precious, priceless gift from the hand of God, and belongs 
to all alike, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, and remember as 
you close each day that you must by-and-bye give an account of it, 
whether wasted or improved. 

Evening Services were also held on Sundays, at which 
my Father used to play the harmonium. These were started 
on March 27th, 1864, when Mr. J. H. Tillett, who often 
helped at them, preached. They were continued until the 



128 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

early 'seventies, when the increasing number of places of 
worship in the neighbourhood seemed to my Father to do 
gway with the desirability of continuing them. These Ser- 
vices were entirely unseAanan, people of all Denominations 
conducing them. My Father had a horror of carrying on 
anything connefted with Carrow on denominational lines. 
He was proud to say that ^^ at Carrow, politics and religion 
are as free as they can be." In 1875, when a radical poli- 
tician wished to attend one of the Whitsuntide F^tes held 
at Carrow for the Workpeople, my Father, in giving per- 
mission, made it a positive condition that no politicsu sub- 
jects should be discussed ; and when a City Candidate of 
his own way of thinking addressed the Carrow Workmen, 
he felt it incumbent on him to give the same opportunity 
to his opponents, should they so desire it. 

Both my Father and Mother were anxious to do some- 
thicig to provide meals for the Workmen at reasonable 
rates, and the Kitchen, which was started in 1868, was 
carried on under her supervision. In a letter of that year 
she alludes to her various engagements, including two 
dinner parties to be given at Carrow House, "the very 
idea of which is destrudive to my peace of mind," and ex- 
presses the hope " in a week or two to b^n cooking for 
our Workmen, and that will be much more to my taste." 
The work was not without its difficulties. Thus, in 1869, 
she related in a letter to her husband : 

Soon after 12, we went to the Kitchen as we heard Mrs. Wilson 
was in dismay as the copper fire would not draw, the water would 
not boil, and the dumplings would not get cooked! After some 
di£Sculty we procured some gunpowder and cleared the flue, but it 
was quite a worry as you may suppose. As Lucy and I were there 
to carve, etc., we got the dinners all ready in time, and then I gave 
orders for having the flue swept out before to-morrow's cooking." 

As the niunber of girls employed at the Works increased, 
it became eminently desirable that there should be some 
one to work amongst them, as weU as some one already 



EARLY DAYS AT CARROW 129 

appointed among[8t the men, during the hours when thejr 
were not at work, and in times of illness. In 1874 Miss 
Kate Southall was engaged for this puipose. The work 
grew quickly. Four years later my Mouier wrote to her 
husband : 

I strongly feel that Miss Southall is doing a gnat dial of good 
in a quiet way amongst the girls by showing them how willing she 
is to take any trouble if she can but teach them to be better women 
and better wives as they grow up. And I have been thinking that 
there is an immense amount of work to be done, especially now 
that the girls are beginning to buy calico and flannel, and want to 
be taught how to make it up — 

this letter being preparatory to a request for more help, 
which it need hardly be said, my Father, and his Partners, 
were willing to supply. In superintending this part of the 
work, and that of the Sick Nurse employed to visit the 
£imilies of the Workpeople, my Mother s help and counsel 
were constantly drawn upon. 

My Father was anxious, by Clubs and other agencies, to 
make it as easy as possible for the Workpeople to provide 
for themselves against sickness, or any special strain on their 
resources. Thus he wrote to the Manager of the Works, 
Mr. R. Haselwood, in 1886: 

It is not many days since we had a talk on the question of some 
Savings Bank in connedlion with the Post Office, especially designed 
to catch Carrow workmen. 

This morning's Parliamentary Papers include a Post Office 
Savings Bank Return, which I send down to you* You will see 
the list for Norfolk on pages 25, 26, and on the latter page you 
will see the mention of Carrow — ^I presume our Carrow, Catling's 
shop. It would seem therefore that there is a nucleus and the ques- 
tion is how can it be developed into something more important ? 
... I should be glad that we should do all we can to promote 
saving amongst the men, and it would be a question whether some 
better accommodation should be provided than exists at present at 
Carrow. Of course a good deal will depend on the way in which 
it is worked. 



I30 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Thus, when shortly after my Father's death, the DireAors 
of J. & J. Colraan (who were then Frederick E. Colman 
[d. 1900], Jeremiah Colman of Gatton Park, Russell J. 
Colman, and James Stuart) wished to start an Old Age 
Pension Scheme and Savings Fund as a Memorial of him, 
it was in the belief that it would have been entirely in 
accord with his own wishes. The details of the scheme 
were mainly drawn up by his son-in-law, James Stuart, in 
consultation with Lord Justice Cozens-Hardy (one of my 
Father's Executors), and under adhiarial advice. This larger 
and more comprehensive scheme of Pensions, started in 
1899, of which one feature is that every member joining 
the Fund must by small weekly payments add a percentage 
to the Pension granted by the Diredors, takes the place of 
the more casual plan adopted previously. The Dire<9x)rs 
felt that to enable any Workman fulfilling the necessary 
conditions to look forward to a pension '^ as a right, and 
not as a matter of charity which could be given or with- 
held at our pleasure," would be a means of lessening 
anxiety as to the future, and as such would have met with 
my Father's warm sympathy. 

But to return from this digression to earlier days at 
Carrow Works. Mention must be made of one event in 
1 862, which can be given in my Father's own words. This 
was an excursion for the Workmen to London, to enable 
them to see the International Exhibition held that year in 
a building ereAed for the purpose at South Kensington. 
The party numbered about 500, the expenses being de- 
frayed by the Firm. In a letter to his sister my Father 
wrote : 

If you had happened to be in London last Monday you would 
have liked to see the men — they were out for a day's frolic which 
they meant to enjoy, and enjoy it they did with no mistake about 
it. A good many, 1 understand, were up at two o'clock. Our time 
for starting was 4.30, and within five minutes we were off, reach- 
ing London most comfortably at 9, . . . and in ^ of an hour the 



~ - * 



EARLY DAYS AT CARROW 131 

twenty buses started, and in about an hour landed their passengers 
at the Exhibition ready for breakfast. As I had several things to 
do in the City, and wanted to be at Mark Lane at 11 o'cbck, 
I did not go with them, but I believe they did justice to the pro- 
vision, and whatever the " Times " may say about the refreshment 
department at all events we have no reason to complain. The men 
enjoyed it, having no doubt been appedted, and one of them told 
Gandy he had often tasted ham, but never such ham as that before, 
and did not suppose he should again as long as he lived. 

I got up to the Exhibition soon after i, and met with a good 
many wandering about, and was pleased to see their look of con- 
tentment and wonder, though towards the end they began to look 
as if they had had enough. After tea they got back to the omni- 
buses, and without much difficulty were got to the station, and we 
started at 10 minutes to 7. About seven or eight were left behind, 
and had to come by Mail— one I understand got to the wrong train 
and went to Ipswich, but with this exception there was not a hitch 
of any kind — and I was very thankful when we pulled up safely at 
Trowse at 11.20. The day was unfortunately wet, but that did 
not matter much, and it did not make the men in love with Lon- 
don — most of them thought it a dirty place such as they should not 
like to live in. They did not either &ncy the people they saw, and 
one said he ^ did not see a decently fat man the whole time he was 
there." I am very glad we took them, they seem so thoroughly to 
have enjoyed it. Several told me they never enjoyed a day so much 
in their lives. ... I am especially glad that I made up my mind 
to go with the men in the same train. I was doubtful whether to 
go on the Monday morning from here by the express. 

His mother, referring to it, wrote : 

We were greatly interested in hearing the details of your giant 
trip to London, and none would have more responded in spirit than 
we at the cheer to you in the Exhibition. May you have many 
like demonstrations and pass the popularity unharmed. 

Amongst the recreations of my Father's early married 
life was a microscope. A year before his marriage he wrote 
to my Mother : 

I bought a microscope, a thing I have long wished for. ... I 
hope you won't think me very extravagant, but I am sure money 



132 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

spent in that way is quite as useful, or at all events agreeable, as 
saved up. ... A thing of this sort is a source of never-ending 
interest. 

Sometimes he would dredge for objefts of interest in 
ponds, or in Lowestoft Harbour, finding that ** what looked 
to the unaccustomed eye to be dirty sea-weed, was really 
full of life and beautiful zoophytes." 

In 1855 he became a member of the Norfolk and Nor- 
wich Microscopical Society, which used to meet at the 
houses of its members. " A very pleasant evening — ^with 
a little to look at, much to talk about, science, politics, and 
gossip," is the description of one of these gatherings given 
to my Father by another member. 

The Society was started in 1852 at a Meeting held at 
the house of the Rev. Joseph Crompton (Minister of the 
Oftagon Chapel), when there were present Mr. Thomas 
Brightwell, F.L.S., the Rev. James Landy Brown (the sole 
survivor of the original members), Mr. Arthur Morgan, 
and Mr. W. K. Bridgman, L.D.S., who, with Dr. Donald 
Dalrymple (the Physician), and Mr. William Brooke (a 
well-known schoolmaster in Norwich), formed the original 
members. The Society flourished for many years, and an 
account of it was given in the " Transaftions of the Norfolk 
and Norwich Naturalists' Society " by Mr. James Mottram, 
who was its Secretary from 1859 to 1873. Somehow after 
a time it fell on less nourishing days, and was finally wound 
up in 1884, but my Father always referred with pleasure 
to the Meetings during the time when he was able to at- 
tend them. 

Musical Evenings, instituted at his mother*s house, 
formed another means of relaxation. My Mother writing 
of the starting of these, in 1861, said: 

Mrs. Colman had a musical party last evening for part-ringing, 
composed of John and Ellen CuUey, Emily Tillett, Mr. Reeve (a 
bass singer), Dr. and Miss Hartmann, [Dr. Franz A. Hartmann, a 
Physician living in Norwich,] and Jeremiah and Cecy. I stayed 



EARLY DAYS AT CARROW 133 

at home with Papa and Mamma, but I hear thef managed some 
of the glees, etc, very well, but found the choruses in the ^ Crear 
tion " too much for their vocal powers. I believe it is to be a fort- 
nightly meeting. 

My Father enjoyed these gatherings, thong^h he never 
professed to be a musical expert, but merely bracketed 
himself, as he once expressed it at a meeting for raising 
funds for the Royal College of Music, with those who are 
^^in that intermediate state in which, whilst knowing a 
•little about music, they are not on the same level as those 
whose musical education subjeds them to excruciating 
torment when anything goes a little wrong in a per- 
formance." He had a keen appreciation of the value of 
good music. At a meeting held in 1880 to raise funds for 
a new organ in St. Andrew's Hall, he said that : 

In many towns in the kingdom organs are not used simply for 
Concerts; they are frequently used for the amusement and gratifi- 
cation of laree numbers of the inhabitants, and if a good organ is 
provided in St. Andrew's Hall something of the same kind might 
be introduced into Norwich with good and useful results. 

Thus the Organ Recitals on Saturday evenings, so ably 
carried on by Dr. Bunnett, were very much in accordance 
with his wishes. 

Throughout his life, my Father had a great many out- 
side claims on his time and attention, of a religious, edu- 
cational, charitable, and political kind. Though it should 
be remembered that these went on to a large extent con- 
currently, it has seemed less confusing in succeeding chap- 
ters to trace his work in connexion with them according 
to subjed:, rather than from a chronological point of view. 



CHAPTER X 

RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 

SHORTLY before their marriage my Father wrote to 
my Mother: 

Talents consecrated to God are what the world and the Church 
wants. ... I often long to do something in the world or Church 
and for those about me, but feel I cannot till I get quietly at 
home and shall have a wife to assist and counsel me. I hope v^e 
shan't live an idle selfish existence, for I am sure it won't be a 
happy one if we do, and we must guard against it. Influence, 
position and wealth are not given for nothing, and we must try 
and use them as we should wish at the kst we had done. 

His connexion with St. Mary's Baptist Chapel has 
been already mentioned, but, shordy before the above letter 
was written, this became closer by his becoming a Member 
of the Church. This step was tdcen, he said, because : 

Without placing any undue reliance on forms or ceremonies I 
shall be glad to feel that I am one with Christ's visible people on 
earth. . . • With my views I think it my duty. I shall consider 
it simply an expression before the world of my faith in Christ, and 
pray for help to maintain untarnished this outward name. 

Five years later, writing to a near relative on the same 
subjeA, and sending greetings for the New Year, he said : 

The step you have taken " to join the Church," (I use the phrase 
for want of a better at the moment though it is but a poor and 
harsh one) will surely tend to make it a happy year. Not that I 
think this outward zBt of much moment comparatively, or that it 
brings unalloyed satisfadtion, but as a duty which belongs to all, 
and, as such, a means of insuring that indefinable sort of satisfac- 
tion which the performance of any duty must always bring. For 

134 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 135 

the far higher thing — ^that change which the outward aA but 
declares — I do rejoice on your l^half as well as those who love 
you. 

Of the Service at which my Father was formally re- 
ceived into the Church he wrote to my Mother: 

We had a nice service only rather long — ^not a baptizing sermon 
as is generally understood by the term, but one or Gould's nice 
addresses on the confession of, and growing acquaintance with, 
Jesus Christ. No baptizing hymns either, but good plain Gospel 
ones. 

It will be inferred that, though a Baptist, my Father 
did not exaggerate the importance of the distindtive tenet 
of the Baptists. True he retained through life his belief in 
adult baptism, but he attached little or no importance to 
the form in which it was administered, immersion or 
sprinkling, considering the whole question of such minor 
importance that he looked forward to the time when Bapt- 
ists and Congregationalists should sink this — praAicdly 
the only — ^point of difference, and unite as one Denomina- 
tion, leaving that an open question. ^^When you as a 
Baptist, though a mild one," was the way his position was 
summarised by a staunch Baptist friend. My Mother, 
writing to my Father about his joining the Church, said 
of Baptism, that '^ there is hardly another subjed on which 
we differ." She added: 

My great satisfaftion is in feeling that there is no danger of 
your being a bigoted Baptist as some are, or of your refusing to 
other se£b what they grant to you — the admission that each party 
zSts conscientiously. The greatest error in the Baptist Denomina- 
tion appears to me to be the giving such undue importance to a 
ceremony which is after all nothing but outward form and type. 

In the case of his own children, in deference to his 
wife's wishes, they were all baptized as children, when the 
youngest was only an infant. This Service, held privately 
on July 3 1st, 1 870, in their home at Corton, was conduced 



136 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

by their friend, Dr. Thomas Binney, a G)ngregational 
Minister, known widely beyond his own Denomination as 
the author of the hymn— one of my Mother's favourites 
— ^beginning: 

Eternal Light ! Eternal Light ! 
How pure the soul must be, 

In 1 86 1 my Father's position in connexion with St* 
Mary's Chapel became more responsible, as he was then 
eleded a Deacon. He accepted the position, which he 
held for nine years, with considerable hesitation, partly^ 
because he felt there were others better qualified, and partly 
because his duties lay largely elsewhere. When accepting 
it he wrote to the Rev. George Gould: 

I wish to say a word or two as to the time I may be able to give 
to St. Mary's. Quite independent of all other engagements of a 
public or private nature, which fall to my share as much as to most 
people, I feel that very often the time which might otherwise be 
given to the Church or Meednes at St. Mary's will be better 
spent in similar work here. A Master has an influence amongst 
his Workmen no one else can exercise, and having now more than 
500 about me I am sure you will feel with me that this is a sphere, 
or congregation, one might truly say, where my time may often be 
employed. 

In the early 'seventies, after the Rev. G. S. Barrett had 
become the Minister of the Prince's Street Congregational 
Church, my Father and Mother attended there, subsequendy 
attaching themselves more closely to it by becoming Mem- 
bers, a connexion which lasted all their lives. He was 
elefted one of the Deacons of this Church, but that was 
when the strain of Parliamentary life had increased his 
other labours, and he felt obliged to decline the re- 
sponsibility. 

Soon after my Father settled in Norwich, the Church at 
St. Mary's was rent over a controversy which excited a 
good d^ of interest at the time, and in which he had to 
take a share. It centred round the question of StriA versus 



-MAa^^^^ 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 137 

Open Cbmmunion. This question, whether only those 
who had been baptized by immersion upon profession of 
faith should be received at the Lord's Supper, or whether 
those who did not pradise ^^ Believers* Baptism/' as it is 
termed, should also be received, had for some time dis- 
turbed the peace of the Church. The question, as raised, 
was not whether the latter might become full Members of 
the Church, with all authority as such in their business 
and other transactions, but only whether they might be 
admitted with the ** Baptized Believers " to any Service of 
the Lord's Supper. StriA Communion had been the prac- 
tice of the Church, and the Rev. J. Kinghorn, the Minister 
between 1790 and 1832, supported this view; but his 
successor, the Rev. William Brock, held the opposite 
opinion, and there grew up amongst the Members an in- 
creasing feeling in favour of the wider view. Consequendy, 
in 1845, Mr. Brock suggested as a compromise that on 
the first Sunday in each month there should be a Service 
of the Lord's Supper for Immersed Believers only, and on 
the third Simday of the month one at which Unbaptized 
Believers should also be admitted. The compromise, if 
illogical, had at least the merit of introducing the thin end 
of the wedge; but the absurdity of the arrangement must 
have struck my Father and Mother with special force in 
their case, for when it was the third Sunday they could 
both stay to the Communion Service, whereas when it was 
the first' Sunday she had to walk out of the Chapel before 
it began. Some of the Strift Communionists were gready 
disturbed at even this innovation, and the point was raised 
whether it was not a violation of the Trust Deed of the 
Church — 9, question which reached an acute form in 1857. 
The question of the principle centred round that of an in- 
dividual case. A letter from my Mother to her brother 
Herbert, written at the beginning of that year, gives some 
account of the controversy, and the views of herself and 
her husband: 



138 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

The Church of St Mary's is in a very disturbed state. A young 
woman who is in heart a Baptist is prevented from being immersed 
by a medical certificate stating the danger to her health. This caused 

ifosh. Smith [Mr. Joseph De Carle Smith] to bring forward a reso- 
ution taking the broad ground that a Church is bound to receive 
all Christians at the Lord's Supper. A discussion ensued, and it 
ended in Mr. Tillyard (an *^ Open '* Baptist^ proposing an amend- 
ment, or rather a fresh resolution, to the eflcA that this aforesaid 
young woman should be admitted on the first Sunday in the month. 
It strikes me it was a pity to bring down the discussion from a great 
principle to an individual case, but it was well meant on the part of 
Mr. Tillyard. A great number spoke on both sides. One of the 
^^Stridlites'' declared that no unbaptized person could receive a bless- 
ing at the Sacrament. . . • Another man said that the young woman 
would be safir not to come to the Sacrament than to come to it, 
because Uzzah was struck dead for touching the Ark, he not being 
authorized to do it! Such do£trines seem to me to be a compound 
of baptismal regeneration and the ^^ real presence." My good hus- 
band made a short speech at the close, tho* it was the nrst Church 
meeting he had ever attended, and they say he began with ^^ Ladies 
and — Christian Brethren ! '* Luckily he correded himself before he 
got out ^^ Gentlemen." But I must tell you the end of the matter. 
Just before putting the question to the vote about a score of the 
Stri<9ites left the Chapel in a body in spite of remonstrance, and the 
votes of the remainder were 25 in favour of the young woman and 
6 against. She was at the afternoon service yesterday, but a great 
many of the Close Communionists absented themselves. I believe 
Josh. Smith will bring forward bis resolution again next month, and 
then I hope the matter will be decided in favour of those who at 
present are deemed unfit companions for the ^^ ele£t." I feel tho- 
roughly sick of such bigotry and exdusiveness. How utterly opposed 
it is to the spirit of Him whom these misguided men profess to copy. 
In Jeremiah's speech he pointed out their inconsistency in admit- 
ting that the Paedobaptists might be good Christians^ and yet affirm- 
ing that they are not sufficiently enlightened on one of the Ordi- 
nances^ of religion to be admitted to the Sacrament! I exped if the 
subje£l comes up again Jer^. will express himself still more strongly. 
He was not home from the meeting till past eleven. 

Feeling ran very high. Most of the Strift Communionists 
absented themselves from St. Mary's, and held Services in 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 139 

a Chapel on Tombland, but still claimed to retain their 
Membership there. The Open G)mmunionists were at- 
tacked for their " unjust, unscriptural, and unmanly pro- 
ceedings"; Mr. Gould was called on to resign his position 
as Minister, and finally le^ proceedings were threatened 
against him by the Rev. W. Norton, Mr. Wilkin (two of 
of the Trustees), and others, on the ground that the Trust 
Deed had been violated. The suggestion of arbitration, 
made on Mr. Gould's part, failed, and a Bill in Chancery 
was filed against him and others. My Mother, writing to 
her brother Herbert in June, 1858, reported: 

The St. Mary's suit is begun, and the ^* Liberab " came last night 
to the decision that they would defend it. About a dozen met at 
Mr. Gould's last night, and started a guarantee fund. £2gs was 
promised then and there. My own feeling was in preference of 
leaving St. Mary's, and meeting elsewhere in some hired building, 
where no Trust Deeds would interfere with per/eff freedom. 

On the other hand the issue was felt to be of widespread 
importance, aiFeAing, as it might, many other Churches, so 
to make it a test case seemed better than to give in by silent 
acquiescence. My Father put the position of affairs in a 
letter to the Rev. William Brock: 

In coming to the decision to defend, we feel that there must be 
a good deal of uncertainty as to the result, but that we have a fair 
prospeft of success, and that the issue raised is one hr too important 
for us to allow (by oiu* non-defence] a judgment to be given that our 
trust deed, in common with many throughout the kingdom, means 
" Striff Communion," now and for ever. If such be indeed the 
law, the sooner it is known the better, but if not — and as we be- 
lieve — ^we feel it is a duty incumbent on us to defend the suit.'' 

My Father was one of the Defence Committee which had 
to raise funds for the heavy legal expenses. " I suppose I 
shall have to consider myself Cnairman," he wrote. A Cir- 
cular drawn up with the above objed stated that : 

It has for some time been a disputed point how far Particular 
Baptist Churches are legally justified in adopting Open Commu- 
nion, and tho' the tendency has been* to return to the Scriptural 



I40 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

pradice of wdooming all Believers to the Lord's Table, many 
Churches have been kept from following out their convictions by 
the fear of legal proceedings. 

The case was heard in i860 before the Master of the 
Rolls (Sir John, afterwards Baron, Romilly), the leadinfr 
G>unsel being two future Lord Chancellors, Mr. Roundell 
Palmer, Q.C., for the Plaintiffs, and Sir Hugh Cairns for 
the Defendants. My Father, of course, followed the pro- 
ceedings with much interest. In a letter to my Mother, 
dated May 2nd, i860, he wrote: 

The case is over, and I heard Palmer*s answer, which was amas* 
ingly clever, and put his side of the question as strongly as possible. 
I should like to have heard Cairns' speech, which all agree in calling 
a very fine one, and, as Winterbotham says, put the do£trine of the 
Baptists in a clearer way than ninety-nine ministers out of a hun- 
dred could have done. Judgment will probably be given in two or 
three weeks' tfme, and as to the result there seems, so far as I can 
gather, little doubt — at all events the Counsel and Pattison [the 
Solicitor] appear quite hopeful that the result will be as we wish. 
. . . There were not many^ people in the Court, but some very 
curious old fogeys, who look as if dug from Noah's Ark. 

The Master of the Rolls, in giving judgment on the case, 
which he said had been argued before him "with great learn- 
ing and ability, and at considerable length," stated: 

The question brought before me on this Information, is, whether, 
having regard to the Trusts of the Deed establishing, for the use 
of Particular Baptists, the Chapel in the City of Norwich, that 
building may be opened or employed for the reception of Com- 
municants who have not been baptized by immersion upon pro- 
fession of faith, although in all other essential particulars, whether 
in faith or dodlrine, or in holiness of life and conversation, they 
concur with those who are the full members of that Church. In 
other words, whether Stri& Communion is to be the future rule in the 
practice of this Chapel, or, whether the Communion is to be opened 
to all those who profess the same dodrine, and ad in such a manner 
as to show that their professions are not mere empty words, and 
who may apply to participate in such Communion although they 
have not been baptized by immersion on profession of faith. • • • 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 141 

The words of the Deed of Endowment are precse. They in- 
volve all that is essential for the faith and maintenance of a Par- 
ticular Baptist congregation, but nothing further; and if I am right 
in the conclusion to which I have come, that the praSice of Strid 
or Free Communion forms no part of what is essential for the faith 
and maintenance of a Congregation of Particular Baptists, it follows 
that no rule on this subjed is prescribed by the Deed of Founds^ 
tion. I am of opinion, therefore, that this Congregation is at full 
liberty to alter its pradice in respe6t of Communion, if such should 
be the opinion of the majority of its full members. • • . 

The result, therefore, justified the adion of my Father 
and the others who had defended the case, and he was very 
glad to feel the vi Aory had been on the side of greater free- 
dom. " StriA Communion," he said about twenty years 
later, '^s becoming almost an obsolete term, ana will I 
hope be a geological term presently." 

Some of my Father's views on the whole question — and 
charadleristic ones — ^were embodied in a letter to a friend, 
written at the time of the St. Mary's controversy. It was 
in reply to an appeal on behalf of a new Chapel in Norwich, 
to which, for various reasons, he regretted not feeling able 
to respond : 

Because I belong to another denomination I should be glad to 
waive many points in order to show sympathy and give help, but 
having looked at the matter again, I cannot but think my decision 
is a right one. 

On the question of the proposed Trust Deed, he con- 
tinued: 

You say indeed the Church is open and the Members may do 
what their conscience tells them, but you a£i otherwise, and your 
trust deed on the only subje£l which divides two leading denomina- 
tions lays down the rule of a£tion. Don't think / elevate unduly 
this rite of Baptism, 'tis your Trustees or Committee who do it by 
attaching pains and penalties to the believer in Immersion. Clearly 
then the Chapel is made a denominational one, and provides that 
for all time Immersion shall not be taught there . • • • 

*^ Jesus Christ and Him Crucified" is one thing, but *^ Jesus 



142 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Christ and Him Crucified — ^plus terms of Communion, and no Im- 
mersion taught here," is a very different thing • . • • 

Fifty years hence the opinions of Christians may undergo an im- 
mense coange one way or another. If you could legislate only for 
yourselves you might be right, but because you chance to diink 
one way now, you say so it shall always be. Don't forget what a 
trust deed is : — ^not a resolution on which you can 2& now, and 
set aside when you see other views of truth, but one on which you 
must always z&, and the Church, perhaps for centuries to come. 
You seem to set a high value on trust deeds, and I am not now 
going to argue against them, for I confess I have not given the sub- 
jeSt enough thought to say whether I would have one or not. I 
will, for argument's sake, assume that they are necessary. But they 
should be only of such a nature as to secure the place for the teach- 
ing of the essential truths of Christianity, and not touch on cere- 
monies or se£ts at all ... . 

We have now at St. Mary's to struggle against the [? vexatious] 
oppression of a narrow and sedarian trust deed : were the question 
simply ^^ Open or Strict Communion " then I for one should have 
at once withdrawn : — but we [? contend] for others, and for the 
* right of a Church at any time to alter its course of adHon in any 
un*essenrial matter unfettered by narrow trust deeds, and therefore 
go to Chancery. And on the other hand, I see your trustees fetter- 
ing themselves on this very question .... 

Now as to the second matter — how to eet hold of the ^^ Masses." 
You know as well as I that the new ChapeTcannot do it, and (pardon 
me) was not intended to do it. It is no doubt a very convenient 
thing to have a place of worship for people living on Newmarket 
Road, but — call things by their right names. The Congregation 
will be composed chiefly of people from other places, who would 
be wonderfully astonished if the Masses from the hovels round came 
to use their fine pews. Now, when this place was started, were 
the Chapels in Norwich so crowded that another was required for 
them, and does not your own judgment tell you that if the objed 
had been to touch the Masses, this ^^2000 would have been spent 
in a very different way ?..'.. 

But though I think you are wrong, I most cordially trust your 
edbrts may be blessed and do much, very much good .... I am 
very glad you have tried whether you could not move me from what 
you thought a wrong position. Your disposition is, I know, much 
more yielding than mine, only take care you do not sometimes give 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 143 

way to it) so as to be led into a course which does not accord with 
principle, and which your judgment condemns. I have unfortun- 
ately often done so, and experience has taught me a lesson. Brotherly 
love is a good thing, and so is the happy medium, but sometimes, 
difficult and painful though it be, we must say, '^ No " and adhere 
to it. 

My Father throughout his life consistently maintained 
that the Free Churches were constantly handicapped by 
their division into so nuuiy se<5i:9. Of the overlapping in 
villages, where, to take one example, with a population of 
not much over 1,000, there were, in addition to the Estab- 
lished Church, a Congregational Chapel, a Wesleyan, a 
Primitive Methodist, and a Free Methodist, besides Ser- 
vices under the auspices of the Plymouth Brethren and the 
Salvation Army, he once said that ^'nothing too strong 
could be said as to the utter waste and folly of such a 
system." He thought Nonconformists sinned more in this 
way than their " friends of the Church of England," who, 
if a Church is wanted, " do not consider whether 20 or 50 
years hence it will be in the possession of High Church or 
Low Church, or Broad Church," but " build the Church, 
and in spreading Christianity it does good." 

My Father regretted anything which tended **to pcr- 

})etuate Church extension on distinftly denominational 
ines." Thus he was disappointed when the Congregation- 
alist and Baptist Denominations might have united, in the 
early 'nineties, to ereA a new Chapel in Norwich, to find 
that difficulties were raised, and — so far as he knew — '^ all 
from the Baptist side," so that the proposed joint effort 
failed. He had a strong preference, so he once expressed 
it, ^^ for Christian work that is not hed^'ed about by high 
denominational walls." In a speech before a Baptist As- 
sociation in 1892 he quoted the lines of the American poet : 

Creeds and rites perchance may difier. 
Yet our hope and £Eiith be one,^ 

* J. G. Whittier : " Mary Garrin." Stanza 39. 



144 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

a lesson which he thought needed to be learnt by Noncon- 
formist Churches. It was distressing to him to feel that 
energy and strength were being frittered away in needless 
rivalry between the various sefb, which, if united, could 
have aone far more to make the world r^ize what to him 
was the one essential truth, that religion should be a living 
force in daily life. He embodied his ideas in notes for a 
speech at a Chapel in 1872 : 

It is not by coming here once or twice on a Sunday, and paying 
^10 now and again, that this place will be useful, but it is by taking 
our religion into everyday life, and by so aAing that the world 
around us sees that in party strife, or commercial enterprise, we do 
that, and that only, which is consistent with our Christian 
profession. . . . 

May no se£birian pride ever obscure the vital truths of our common 
Christianity, but may you find here a sanctuary from the crosses or 
sorrows of life, refreshment in times of weariness, and a temple 
where you may worship your Father in Heaven, and gain renewed 
strength for the temptations of life. 

I have sometimes thought it would be a good thing if all our 
creeds and religious sedts could be buried one night in oblivion, and 
let the world wake next morning forgetful of them all — of their 
do£b:ines and even their name — with simply the Bible before them 
on which to found fresh Churches and fresh Denominations. We 
should not even then see eye to eye, but we should be vastly nearer 
one another than we have been, and the Chiu'ch itself would have 
vastly more power for good. 

While r^etting the seAional divisions, ofteii arising 
from microscopic differences in dodrine or pradUce, my 
Father ^oried in the fundamental beliefs, and in the history, 
of the Free Churches. He believed, as he expressed it, 
that " our Nonconformity should be not an accident of our 
birth, but the convidion and principle of our lives." In 
addressing a meeting in connexion with the Jubilee of the 
Congregational Union in 188 1, he said: 

Let us not be ashamed of our Noncohformity, but rather glonr 
in it. Those who depreciate it know litde of the history of their 



RELIGIQUS WORK AND BELIEFS 145 

country, or must be blinded by prejudice or passion. I look forward 
to the time when Nonconformity will be stronger than it has been 
hitherto. I have heard a good many allusions to the late President 
Garfield, and in the ^ Times ^ Memoir he was spoken of as coming 
from the Puritan Stock ^ which has given so manv great men to 
the United States." I trust that the Puritan Stocc will continue 
to give men to the United States, and to the world at large. If 
Congregationalists did their duty, if they handed down unimpaired 
the Christianity which had been given them, and the Noncon- 
formity which they enjoyed and which they valued, then they would 
send into the large centres, and from them to the world at large, 
men who would be imbued less with a desire for Empire, and more 
with a spirit of Christianity. 

It was impossible to refleA on the history of their 
Country, he told a body of Nonconformists about the same 
time, ^^ without beine^ impressed by the conviftion that 
England, socially, politically, and commercially, as well as 
religiously, owes very much of its greatness and prosperity 
to the Nonconformists of the Country." 

In 1862 my Father was one of a Committee which ar- 
ranged for a course of Ledures ^^ to expound and enforce 
the principles of Religious Liberty, and particularly to illus- 
trate them as exhibit^ in time of persecution." And the 
same year he assisted in organizing meetings in connection 
with die Bicentenary of the Aft of Uniformity, passed in 
Charles IFs reign, which enadled that all Ministers of the 
Church of England must not only use the Prayer Book in 
public worship, but subscribe their assent to everythic^ 
contained in it, the result being that 2,cxx) of the Puritans 
resigned their position as Ministers of the Established 
Church, rather than accept the new conditions imposed on 
them. Recognizing the self-sacrifice this involved, my 
Father said at one of the meetings in reference to these 
ejefted ministers: 

It has been thought fitting and seemly that such a noble example 
of heroism and devotion should not pass unnoticed, believing as we 
do that we owe much, both of civil and religious freedom, to those 

L 



146 JEREMLAH JAMES COLMAN 

holy and noble-minded men. It is not that we are hcce to prodaum 
that their creed was the same as ours is^ or that we hold preciseljr 
the same views of Church government as they did, but because we 
recognize in their a£t the fundamental principles which we hold, 
viz., fideH^ to conscientious conviction of truth, and that no creed, 
or A61 of Parliament, that no man, be he Pope or Prelate or King, 
has any right to step between a man's conscience and his God* 
Amidst much obloquy, and mudi that would induce them to tem« 
porize, those men stood firm, nobly braving the worst, believing 
that fidelity to conscience and to God stood before obedience to a 
King. No such z& ever was done in vain, or shall ever lose an 
honourable riemembrance and reward. Those men did not foresee 
the result of their faithfidness. It was not for worldly honour or 
renown that they suffered, but simply in obedience to the call of 
duty and the law of God. Such has it ever been and such it will 
ever be. A true and right z6t done as in the sight of God, and 
firom a holy motive, will help on the cause and final triumph of 
truth. » * .' Is not such heroism worthy to be held in remembrance 
by lis who reap the benefit of their labour i But our honour pf them 
must be something more than words. We shall lamentably miss the 
true lessons of the year if its remembrance does not stir us up to a 
holier zeal and a deeper devotion to our principles. And I trust such 
will be the case, that our Nonconformity will not be with us a mere 
custom or fashion, but an earnest religious con vidion. . . ; By the 
memory oif the 2,000 of old who laid the foundation of Eng^sh 
religious freedom, by the remembrance of those who in later times 
fought the same battle amidst much obloquy and many difficulties, 
let it be our aim to hand down' to those who may come after US| 
untarnished and unimpaired, the privileges we enjoy. 

And let us not murmur if success does not always crown our 
efibrts,.nor be discoiiraged bv opposition. If we hold the truth, and 
hold it in a right way, it will ultimately triumph. Whether any of 
us live to see the dav or not, no matter. The fungus which grows 
up in a night perisnes in a day, and the tree of slowest growth 
makes the statdiest tree. So it is in the moral world. Whilst we 
are wondering why things move on so slowly, the great Ruler of all 
sees, and knows, and dire^ all, and in His own time will work the 
triumph of those principles which the 2,000 of old sufiered for. Be 
it ours then to help, and each do what we can to hasten on the time 
when tiie Church, freed from all that now trammels and impedes 
her, may shine with a purer and brighter light, and accomplish her 
mission in the salvation of the world. 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 147 

He admitted all this meant strong and earnest efibrt In 
notes for a speech at a Meeting of the Liberation Society 
in 1 864, he expressed his views : 

It is not when all is quiet and at rest that a new truth makes its 
way, but when all parties interested are roused to increased attention 
ana energy. Take for instance the great questions of recent years: 

Catholic Emancipation. 

The Reform Bill. 

The Freedom of the West Indian Slaves. 

The Abolition of the Corn Laws. 

All these have passed through the same stages : 

1st : When the world at large regarded them as Utopian, or were 
too careless to attend to them. 

2nd : When they gradually passed to the time when vested in- 
terests became alarmed, and opponents put forth their strongest 
efibrts to crush them, or misrepresent their aim. 

3rd : When, after a long conflid and onlookers had often said the 
realization was further o£F than ever, at last came the final triumph, 
and the world wondered it had so long and so vehemently opposed 
what it now saw to be right and good. 

Such I believe will be the case with the battle of religious free- 
dom. We have got to the middle stage, and must prepare for a 
continuance of the struggle, but the longer it goes on, and the more 
zealously it is fought on either side, so much the broader will the 
truth be sown. That truth I believe to be that the Church of 
Christ, to fulfil its true mission, must be free from all State patron- 
age or control. If this be true, nothing can stop its final triumph, 
and though we may reeret that its proclamation may for a time 
alienate those who would otherwise be working side by side, we 
dare not be recreant to our principles. 

Believinfi^, as my Father once said, that *^ civil and 
religious liber^ go hand in hand, and that both of them 
are necessary for the welfare of our Country," and that, 
instead of maintaining a dividing Une between Politics and 
Religion, it was ^' nearer the truth to say that Political and 
Religious questions blend and oughf to do so,'* it is need* 
less to say he repudiated the taunt implied in the term 
^^ Political Dissenter.*' Least of all would he accept it from 



148 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

the members of a Church many of whose cUgnitaries depend 
for their appointments on the chances of politicians in the 
House of Conunons. For "traced to their ultimate origin,'* 
he once said in reference to Bishoprics and other Church 
offices, this is to be found, " in the Polling Booth, where 
the question may one year depend on a Chinese war, an- 
other time on a Reform Bill, another on a Licensing Bill, 
again on id. a pound of Income ; and the voting of the 
Country on these points is to determine who nominates the 
Bishops.'* 

Is every concession that we ask to be sneered at, or refused, [he 
asked,] and are we to be called simply *^ Political Dissenters " be- 
cause we claim religious rights, and seek to g^in them by the 
citizenship we possess \ Surely no thoughtful or candid Churcnman 
would make such a charge if he remembered that the dignitaries of 
his own Church are essentially, and by virtue of their o£Sce, endowed 
with political power, and take their seats in the House of Lords. 

It must not be forgotten that my Father grew up at a 
time when Nonconformists were under heavy disabilities. 
The Test and Corporation Aft, which enafted that no one 
who declined to proclaim himself a Member of the Estab- 
lished Church by partaking of the Lord's Supper in his 
Parish Church could hold any office of trust and emolu- 
ment under the Crown, or in conneftion with any Munici- 
pal Corporation, was only repealed two years before his 
birth. Many years later, when the history of that Aft vwis 
being forgotten, he reminded his hearers of it: 

Remember the position in which Nonconformists were placed in 
relation to Municipal Corporations some sixty years ago, before the 
repeal of the Test and Corporation Aft, when Nonconformists who 
desired to do service to their towns could not do so, because of the 
pains and penalties provided by that Aft. 

Nonconformists at that time could not be married except 
in the Established Churches, or buried in Parish grave- 
yards except according to the rites of the Church of Eng- 
land; they were compelled to pay Church Rates; they 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 149 

were debarred from serving on many Boards of Governors, 
and the doors of the Universities were closed to them. 
Many of these questions had to be fought out on the 
political platform. My Father was keenly interested in this, 
but his work in connection with it is treated of in a later 
chapter. 

Always loyal to his City and County, he liked to re- 
member the part it had played in the history of Noncon- 
formity. 

We in the Eastern Counties, [he said,] fancy we have a reputation 
which is at least as honourable as that of other parts of the Countnr 
in connexion with the batde of civil and religious freedom, and it 
behoves us to maintain the reputation which our fore&thers won, 
and hand down the position, secure and strong, to those who will 
come after us. 

It did not disturb him much that Nonconformists were 
still, though to a less extent, '* apt to be looked down upon 
and boycotted." He thought it was ^' a shame and a scandal 
in the nineteenth century that this should be the case," but 
at the same time he thought they sometimes brought it on 
themselves, by being too sensitive, that " if they would re- 
member that they have as much right to their opinions as 
their Church friends have to their views, the latter would 
respeA them more," and that though he supposed, " Non- 
conformists are looked upon somewhat as black sheep by 
some societies in the United Kingdom," he ^' took it that 
they could bear this," and imamned " that neither their 
comfort nor their charaAer sumred very much by their 
being excluded from some circles to which Nonconformists 
were not supposed to be admitted." 

In place or hyper-sensitiveness, the virtues he inculcated 
were > patience, courage, consistency, perseverance, and 
fidelity to principle. 

Let us respedt ourselves, and that will be one of the first steps to 
make other people resped us [he once »aid]. Let us be consistent 



I50 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

and persistent. The best days of England for freedom and prosperity 
have been since the Protestant Reformation. Be it ours to promote 
them still more. 

Amongst those who helped to promote them, for whom 
he had special respeA, were some of the Countnr Ministers, 
who, he said, " in the midst of a good deal of discourage- 
ment are doing their best to keep Nonconformity and 
Christianity alive and vigorous in country distritfb." At 
the unveiling of a monument to one of these, the Rev. 
John Browne of Wrentham, in 1887, mv Father looked 
back with regret on changes which had taken place in 
rural life: 

I can recoUe^ in days gone by, that a peculiarity of the Non- 
conformist Congregations of East Anglia was the large number of 
people who drove to worship from long distances, and I hope the 
time will come again when, through a change of circumstance in 
land tenure, we shall see the yeomen attend the village Noncon- 
formist Churches as they did in bygone da3rs. 

But five years later he admitted, though he had hoped 
" to see a revival of the yeomanry class," that : 

There are various economical causes at work which make one 
sometimes very doubtfril as to whether we shall ever see again in 
England the state of afiairs that existed fifty or one hundred years 
ago, so far as the occupation of the land is concerned. 

He held that, " as the- towns are so largely replenished 
from the villages, the village pastor wields a great power on 
the welfare of towns," though this was frequently unrecog- 
nized, in the same way that the Londoner, when driven 
across the open country, imagined, because there were no 
houses on it, that it was all waste land. 

Believing, as he did, in " the Christian willinghood of 
the people as distinguished from National support and en- 
dowments, and that a Church free from the patronage and 
control of the State best promotes the glory of God, and 
the well-being and spiritual life of man,' it will be obvious 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS i s i 

that his views were diametrically opposed to the system of 
the Presentation of Livings prevailing in the Church of 
England. 

He thought Churchmen pitied a Pastor who was chosen 
by his Congregation, but he pitied a Congregation that had 
no choice in its Pastor. He quoted the instance where the 
Church patronage of one family was, for convenience, 
vested in a single member of it, ^^ that member being; best 
known in connexion with the Jockey Club " ; and in a 
speech in 1878 he said, in glancing over the advertisement 
sheet of the " Times " that morning, he had seen notices 
of the sale of eleven or twelve advowsons, in which there 
was much about ^^ attraftive neighbourhoods^" something 
about '' the Church and Schools being in good order," in 
one instance mention of a *' stable," and in several of a 
** garden," but in none did he see anything of the religious 
wants of the neighbourhood that had to be supplied. He 
believed, however, that many in the Church of England 
were "waking up to the enormity of the evil " by which 
"spiritual teaching could be bought and sold, or be the 
subjeA of a gift by an individual or politician." He felt it 
was " a priceless blessing " for Nonconformists in the ap- 
pointment of Ministers, " not to be left to the bidder in an 
auftion room, or to the pick of a private family," and that 
the principle of voluntary support, so largely developed by 
Nonconformity, taught men self-reliance in supporting re- 
ligious work and institutions. He used to quote the say- 
ing that Methodism, for example, had " brought out the 
the power of the pence in England." 

In my Father's position as Member of Parliament for 
Norwich, it was not unnatural that he should sometimes 
be asked to use his influence with those in authority in the 
matter of Church Preferment. But with his views on the 
subject he felt it only right to refrain, " though sometimes 
tempted to break through this rule." In a letter written 
near the close of his Parliamentary life he wrote : 



152 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I have carefully refrained from moving in the matter of Eccle- 
siastical appointments made in this district, and although I have 
often been urged to send in names, I have declined, alwavs, except 
perhaps once or twice under very special circumstances. I feel that 
this is the proper attitude for me as a Nonconformist. 

Once, when strongly urged to purchase the Presentation 
of a Living, by a niend who was just resigning it, my 
Mother, in answering the letter for him, wrote : 

He feels jthat with his views as to the sale of the *^ Cure of Souls" 
he must decline to purchase the Living. He believes the system to 
be utterly wrong, and would be glad to see it abolished, and you 
will therefore admit that holding such views it is not likely he 
would wish, by purchasing a Living, to mix himself up with what, 
he thinks, savours of simony. 

But the confidence shown in him by the request may be 
taken as some proof that my Father could differ from those 
who disagreed with him without showing bigotry or bitter- 
ness. Yet his was not that easy kind of tolerance, for which 
so much unnecessary virtue is claimed, arising from a slack- 
ness of convidion. Rather it was, that the liberty of con- 
science he claimed for himself he was not slow in granting 
to others. He never limited his help and sympathy to 
Nonconformist causes. He wished to say nothing, he once 
said in a speech on Nonconformity, to hurt the feelings of 
any persons attached to the Established Church, among 
whom he numbered many private friends whom he highly* 
esteemed, and who were as sincere Churchmen as he was a 
sincere Nonconformist. The only thing he asked was that 
people should hold their opinions ^^ openly and honestly.** 
Thus he had nothing to say against Roman Catholics, ^^ who 
have just as much a right to their opinions as you and I 
have, provided they hold them openly and honesdy,** but 
he could not understand the position of a Clei^man, vir- 
tually a Roman Catholic, who would continue to ^'hold a 
Living of the Protestant Church of England, and then use 



REUGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 153 

his means and influence to undermine the £uth he has pro- 
fessed." 

My Father liked Religious Senrices to be simple. ^^ I 
don't understand these — to me — confusing arrangements," 
were his words to Mr. Broadhurst, at a W^eyan Methodist 
Chapel, in handing back a Prayer Book for further guidance 
as to the particular page then being read. The Kitual of 
the Church of England never app^ed to him, nor could 
he agree with many of its dodrines. The strong disapproval 
expressed \)y my Father and Mother on returning from a 
Church one Christmas Day is still recalled, when the solemn 
anathemas of the Athanasian Creed — to them far too sweep- 
ing and assertive — ^had, as they believed, been lighdy gab- 
bled over both by Clergyman and Congr^tion. 

While feeling strongly that " worship is not dependent 
upon ecclesiastical architefture," my Father felt that cir- 
cumstances had changed, and that new Noncomformist 
Chapels, of which he felt many were needed in suburbs 
where the^ population had largely increased, should be made 
*' attradive, though not gaudy. ' But he felt people ought 
not to forget what those changing circumstances had been. 

Previous to 1688, [he said in one of his speeches,] Nonconformists 
were obliged to meet in by-ways and hidden places of the earth, 
but after that time we read of their raising *^ great and fair meeting 
houses," and within two or three years building over 2,000 of these 
places of worship. 

Now that the *^ great and fair meeting houses " seemed 
uncomfortable in the face of modem requirements, he real- 
izefl the necessitv of some alteration, though he had regrets 
when the old things had to pass away. 

He used to reter to the time when a manuscript tune 
book was used at St. Mary's Chapel, this giving place to 
the Norwich book, in its turn to be superseded, or nearly 
so, by the Bristol tune book. He had a great affedion for 
some of the old tunes, seldom or never heard now, with a 



/ 



154 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

strength and charaAer often missing in more modern pro- 
duAions. " Calcutta " was a favourite, and he used to say 
that in the old days, when tunes were composed on the 
lines of a fugue, choirs had something worth pnuftising. 

At a discussion on the form of worship at Nonconformist 
Chapels, in 1882, my Father said his thoughts had turned 
to the pradHce in some well-known Chapels. At one the 
Prayers of the Church of England were largely quoted from, 
and at another the musical part of the Service was very 
elaborate. He drew the inference that in large communities 
there were differences of taste, sentiment and feeling, which 
Nonconformists should not be aAaid of, though he hoped 
they would not go in for changes merdy for the sake of 
change. Personally he liked a very simple service, with 
octempore prayers, and no form of ritual, nor did he care 
for the Minister to wear a gown, though he might be en- 
titled to do so. Anything which savoured of ritualism and 
sacerdotalism he disliked. But while r^etting the growth 
of this in the Church of England, he acknowledged ^* the 
earnest labours of a vast number of the Clei^gy of the land," 
and recognized that '* in the Church of England therd has 
been a stirring up, and a desire manifested to do work 
among the poor, which some of us, at all events, did not 
recognize many years ago, and for the good of this Country 
of oiu*s this is a welcome sign." 

He thought that Nonconformists might learn something 
from the Church of England system, and instanced their 
plan of having Curates. He felt that some plan of this 
kind in the larger Nonconformist Churches, by which "the 
Pastor would he relieved of a good deal of the routine 
work, and perhaps some of the preaching," would be "a 
good thing for the Pastor, for his helpers, and for the Con- 
gregation. ' 

In a letter to Dean Goulbourn, on his retirement from 
the Deanery of Norwich, my Father expressed his thanks 
for the constant " courtesy and kindness " shown to him 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 155 

personally, and for '^ the example you have given us that 
whilst holding firmly and consistently your own views you 
always do so with full and Christian charity to those who 
differ." This was canying into pradice the principles which 
my Father held dear. 

We can meet those from whom we differ ecclesiastically on 
many a platform, [he once wrote,] and for many good, noble, and 
useful works. But on this one point we cannot and dare not sacri- 
fice our conviAions of duty and of truth. 

On the duty of supporting any schemes for the better- 
ment of the world he was clear. A listless, nonchalant 
attitude merited censure in his eyes. In some of his notes 
for a speech there occur these words: 

But we are r^ponsible for the future. Are we helping? The 
history of a town depends in no small degree on the Churches in it. 

His temperament was not wildly optimistic, but neither 
was it hopelessly pessimistic. He believed in good results 
from sincere, well-dire<fted effort. He said in 1885, at the 
opening of a Mission Hall in Norwich, after a word of 
warning to the people of that City, who he thought were 
" rather apt to start a thing and then let it flag," that he 
thought " the world was improving, very graduafly perhaps, 
and if it would improve a little more quickly so much the 
better," but he was not " one of those who believed that 
the Country was getting worse in resped of morality or 
religion than in the good old times." In another place he 
added, " I see no cause for despair, only for increased zeal." 

Among the religious agencies in which my Father took a 
special and continued interest from its start was the Norwich 
Branch of the Young Men's Christian Association. This was 
formally started on OAober 28th, 1856, when 48 members 
were enrolled, the first rooms used by the Association being 
those over the shop of Mr. Newb^in in the Market Place. 
My Father was eleded its first Treasurer, but became Pre- 
sident in i860, on the retirement of Mr. J. H. Gurney, a 



iS6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

position he held until his death, Mr. Henry Birkbeck tak- 
ing his place as Treasurer. He was in frequent attendance 
at the Conunittees in the early days, his verdidk, after three 
years* work, being " that there has been as much unanimity 
as in any Committee I know ot." He always followed its 
developments with great interest, and was glad to help 
substantially when the chance came of securing the house 
in St. Giles', opened in 1886. 

In a speech, delivered a few months after the formation 
of the Association, my Father foreshadowed its lines of 
work. He was glad to think that: 

Our Constitution is a broad though not a lax one; we know here 
no 8e6l or party . . . The man who is striving to follow Christ, be 
he Churchman or Dissenter, is alike welcome. 

In identifying himself with the other members as ** a 
body of young men just entering, or entered on life," he 
wished all to remember they had ^^ minds to cultivate, souls 
to save, duties to perform." The religious side of the work 
was strongly before him, but he did not forget other sides 
too, and was keenly anxious that '^ classes for the acquire- 
ment of general or useftd information, such as Languages^ 
History and Science,'* should go hand in hand with Bible 
Classes' and Prayer Meetings. 

The good God who gave to Science its laws, [he said,] to Geology 
its monumental rocks, to Nature its beauty and its life, to Astro- 
nomy its stupendous extent, to Music and the Arts their power to 
charm the ear and eye, and to Matter its command to serve for the 
uses of man, did not intend them to be as a blank unstudied page. 
They were all given us to be used and enjoyed, but they must be 
kept in their proper sphere, and not allowed to engross our time 
and attention to the negled of the one obje6t of this iife,viz.,^r^* 
paration for another. 

In a speech at the Annual Meeting, two years later, 
after giving a hit at the grvumblers with whom nothing 
goes well, and who ^^ seem to have come on this earth a 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 1 57 

century or two out of date," and referring to " the quiet 
way in which some of the greatest organizations the world 
has ever seen have been started/' such as the Baptist 
Missionary Society through the instrumentality of William 
Carey, the cobbler, or Sunday Schools, " now one of the 
institutions of the realm," by Robert Raikes, my Father 
went on to show the all-important work which might be 
done through the Association for young men, those be- 
tween the impressionable ages of fifteen and twenty-five, 
when *^ the temptations and allurements of life are opening 
to them, dangerous pleasures attraA them, and it is the 
solemn duty of the Christian public to do something to 
counteraft the danger," Though he gladly recognized that 
^* a Christian Church does much, yet it wants to be supple- 
mented by a Society like ours which has a week-day work 
to do." 

He felt that employers, who "have so many young 
men under their influence, and to so^e extent under their 
control and care," were under special obligations to help 
the Association. The progress or the Early Closing Move- 
ment (a gain, he thought, not only to those employed, but 
to the employers, making the former better fitted for the 
discharge of their duties), accentuated their obligation to 
help to provi4e harmless eniployment and recreation, such 
as that found at the Y.M.C.A. The term recreation he 
interpreted in no narrow spirit. Thus when the much-dis- 
cussed question of a Billiard Table was up— an ofiTer to 
present one, coupled with certain conditions as to the allow- 
ance of smoking, having been made — ^he regretted that the 
offer was not accepted. To a gentleman in another town, 
he wrote on the subjed: 

I daresay you and I will both have to hold our own opinions. I 
resped yours, but for myself, I cannot see in what way, if billiard 
tables are admissible in private houses, thev are out of place in a 
Young Men's Christian Association builoing. I take it that our 
obje£t is to make these places as attradive homes as possible, and 



158 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

for that reason I regret the decision which has just been come to. 
And I hope, at no very distant date, we may have a table at Nor- 
wich, 

Soon after the Association was formed, a Debating Class 
was established in connexion with it, in which mv Father 
not infrequendy took a part. One paper he wrote for it was 
on ^^ Heroism and its Counterfeits." He acknowledged it 
was ^^ one of the fundamental laws of our Nature to rever- 
ence greatness or heroism in our fellow-men," and rgoiced 
in the fad, for ^' the power to see in others that which we 
possess not ourselves is one step towards implanting in us 
the desire to emulate their example, and so roUow in their 
path." At the pame time he warned his hearers not to be 
*' dazzled by that which is showy and brilliant, to the n^eft 
of the truly great and good," but to remember that they 
must ^^ learn to distinguish between the true and false hero^ 
so as to tear dqwn what is merely show and tinsel, covering 
hideous defonnity, and to see in its stead the great and 
god-like, under whatever form it may be presented to us 
— ^whether with rank and wealthy or amidst lowliness and 
poverty/' Thus '^ a man may be a true hero, and yet leave 
no great name behind him," and ^^ heroism is not synony- 
mous with a rifle corps: you may join it and be arrant 
cowards : you may remain out and be true heroes." While 
not wanting " to dispanige a Rifle Corps," he did not want 
young men to ^^ grow up thinking merdy of courage as it 
relates to physiqal or military affairs," but to remember that 
they could. -^ a6t the heroic in blotting out injustice and 
wrong, in shielding the weak, upholding the feeble, and thus 
promoting brotherly love amongst their fellow countrymen." 

The leading charafteristics essential to true heroism he 
classed as sincerity, earnestness, self-sacrifice, perseverance, 
carelessness of applause, and readiness to brave the sneers 
of the world. 

On another occasion, in 1864, he said to the members of 
the same Association: 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 159 

On the one band our yoitng men are taught that scepticism is a 
sign of intelle&ual independence and strength, and on the other 
hand that the prize ring must be revived to teach English youths 
manliness and courage. Away with such teaching from our midst. 
L^et our young men be imbued with true and pure Christianity, 
and I have no fear but that we shall have with it plenty of intelli- 
gence, and true manliness and heroism too. 

One thing, he told them in 1890, he had little faith in, 
and that was "inherent stupidity." That which often 
passed for this, he thought was "a want of ciiltivation of 
talent," and " a want of industry and application." 

' Though my Father regretted a golden opportunity was 
missed tor an amalgamation between the Y.M.C.A. and 
the Church of England Young Men's Society, vet he was 
glad not to confine his help to the former. One ot his duties 
when Mayor, in 1868, was to take the Chair at om of the 
gatherings of the latten An aphorism he laid down then; 
as an encouragement to those engaged in good works, was: 

We Cannot be selfish without damaging ourselves, and we can- 
not do good and communicate without getting good ourselves. 

The City Mission also interested my Father from early 
days^ believing, as he said in 1 861, that the ^^ Churches and 
Chapels do not really touch the great mass of the working 
classes," but diat such a Society as this might do much. 
^^ If we had more home missionaries, we should need fewer 
policemen," were his words about it 

In later years, too, he was glad to give help to the Salva- 
tion Army. His own feelings about what was seemly in 
the conduft of Rdimous Services must have been wide apart 
as the poles from the feelings of those associated with that 
organization. Any excitement or unrest was abhorrent to 
him who loved a quiet, orderly service. But for all this he 
was considerably impressed with the stamp of some of its 
officers with whom he came in. contaft, and thoroughly 
appreciated the unselfish devotion that the Army put into 
its work. In 1892, when serious friftion arose at East- 



i6o JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

bourne between the Salvation Army and the local authori- 
ties, in reference to the by-laws about bands on Sundays, 
my Father supported the former, expressing the view: 

Holding as I do, that the obnoxious clause drew a [?most] unjust 
distindion between your bands and those of ^' Her Majesty's Naval, 
Military, and Volunteer Forces,*' I was verv glad to assist in support- 
ing the 2nd Reading of Mr. Fowler's Bill. • . • It was pandering 
to some of the worst of passions to say that such bands should be 
permitted to parade the streets, while the bands of the Salvation 
Army should not. 

Of General Booth he wrote, in 1895, that: 

He has stayed twice at my house, and I foimd him, I confess^ a 
very good sensible fellow, and I liked him. 

When he canie to Norwich in 1891 to expound his 
Darkest England Scheme, my Father took the Chair for 
him, feeling " not certain that he can do all that he expedfcs," 
or " endorsing every word he has written, or every plan he 
has mooted," but being " the more drawn to his scheme 
from my distrust of the * Times * Newspaper, which vio- 
lentlv attacks him," and feeling that he deserves a helping 
hana in his ** attempted solution of the dark problem.** 

My Father was deeply imbued with the importance of 
Sunday School work. "A noble band, far better than 
soldiers and bayonets,** was one of his descriptions of 
Sunday School teachers. In criticising the taunt that Sun- 
day Schools had failed, he said, in i860: 

They have not failed to gather together a band of teachers, 
nearly all of whom work hard with their hands or head all the 
week, but they have failed to gather that large number of well 
educated people conneded with our Churches, who, having the 
smallest possible occupation during the week, might, one would 
have thought, have been glad to find one in the Sabbath School. 
The help of all is needed. ... As Englishmen we are justly proud 
of our high position in the foremost rank of the nations. Our 
countrymen are ever venturing into new scenes, and cariying the 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS i6i 

Enelish name throughout the wide world. The boys and girb of 
to-day in our Sabbath Schools will to-morrow be the men and 
women living amidst other scenes and with fresh duties. Is it not 
a high and noble work to be engaged in, training these young ones 
for the work they will have to do, implanting in their minds prin- 
ciples which shall live on and expand, and, like a ripple on the 
stream, be ever extending the circle of its influences? . . . There 
may be much to lament in our Country, but after all there is much 
to rejoice over, and I have faith in England's future, but not in her 
iron-clad ships, her army, or her volunteers, not in her schemes of 
political economy, or social science, not in the extension of her arts, 
her manufactures, oi* her commerce, for unless there be in her 
people devout Christian principle, and unless a divine and religious 
life permeate her whole population, the day will come when her 
sun will set. 

He regretted the faft, which every teacher felt then to 
such a large extent, that as the children grow up they are 
lost to the Schools, and not gained to the Churches : 

Just at the time, [he said,] when the thoughtlessness of childhood 
is giving place to the increased intelligence of youth, the influence 
of the School is gone $ and, at that most susceptible of all times, 
when manhood and womanhood are beginning to be developed, 
there are no adeqiiate means of reaching our population. Surely 
some plan could be devised to remedy this defed. 

And so, in later years, he warmly welcomed the growth of 
the Adult School movement, which, started under die foster- 
ing care of the Society of Friends, is doing a great work ; 
and when a School on these lines was started in the Carrow 
Schoolroom, largely through my Mother's initiative, it met 
with his deep sympathy. 

The Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Services he accepted 
as another attempt to solve the difficulty. At a meeting in 
connexion with one of these, held shortly before General 
Booth's visit to Norwich, he said: 

Next week the people of Norwich will hear something of ^^ Dark- 
est England and the way out/' I have sometimes thought there is 

M 



1 62 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

a better way to be found even than General Booth's^ and that ia to 
keep out or Darkest England; and such gatherings as this, the 
First-Day Schools, the many movements for binding men tog!eth«r 
for good {mrposes, and the efibrts made on behalf of the children, 
are difierent ways of keeping the people out of Darkest England. 

My Father did not confine his attention to religious 
agencies near home. His interest in Foreign Missions, 
fostered no doubt by his mother, was strong, and in 
choosing a dinin^-table sixteen feet long for his new home 
at Carrow, he did so, he told my Mother, partly because 
" the Norwich Missionary breakfast parties are very pleasant 
ones, and I thought of them when I gave the order as much 
as anything." In 1864 he was eleded on the Committee of 
the Baptist Missionary Society, but withdrew a year later, 
owin^ to the dif&ulty of attending its meetings in London. 
Still he was frequently present at the united Annual Meet- 
ings of the Baptist andtheLondon Missionary Societies held 
in Norwich, often extended hospitality to those conne&ed 
with them, and for many years, until his death, held the 
position of Local Treasurer of the former Society, Amongst 
those whom my Father and Mother were proud to have 
received at Girrow was Dr. Mofiat; and when Khama, 
the Christian Chief of the Bamangwato, came from Bechu- 
analand, in 1895, to England, my Father made inquiries 
as to his movements, as he would have liked to welcome 
him to Norwich. 

In 1870 when my Father took the Chair at the Annual 
Meeting of the Baptist Missionary Society in Exeter Hall, 
he said he thought it was "an honourable thing to be 
united, in however humble a way, in the noble work of 
Foreign Missions," that " the more Christianity goes hand 
in hand with our Commerce and our Ambassadors, the less 
shall we have of difficulty with other nations, and the 
sooner will war be banished from the earth," and that " if 
the same zeal which has been given to the spread of our 
Conunerce and our Arms had been given to send God*s 



RELIGIOUS WORK AND BELIEFS 163 

truth, would not the world have been the fairer, and our 
Country the stronger, and more beloved ? " 

In a speech on behalf of akindred organization, the British 
and Foreign Bible Society, in 1 872, he dwelt on the " great 
privileges, involving great responsibilities " of the English 
nation, and trusted the English-speaking people on both sides 
of the Atlantic would "ever be mindml of their dutv and 
their honour. Commercial enterprise is good in a people, but 
Christian enterprise should go with it. ' Four years later 
he expressed his belief " that in the course of another cen- 
tury America would be a far greater nation in the world 
than England,*' but he was convinced " the more intercourse 
there was between men in the two countries, agreeing in 
their religious views, the less chance would there be of any 
difficulty arising between the two nations." 



XI 

EDUCATIONAL VIEWS : GRAMMAR SCHOOL AND CHARITY 

TRUSTS 

IN some rough notes for a speech on Education, pre- 
pared by mjr Father in 1857, there occur these 
words : 

Education does not mean simply reading, writing, and aritfame^ 
tic: they may be parts of it, but it includes much more: amongst 
others, powers to observe — duties to one another — to the world — 
to God. These properly cultivated may make greater men of the 
poorest than all the wealth of the world. 

It will be seen therefore that he attached a wide meaning 
to the term Education. Through what channels this was to 
be given was another question. 

In 1858 he read a paper before the Norwich Y.M.C.A. 
on the question, ^' Can the National Education be better 
secured by the Interference of the State or by the Volun- 
tary Efforts of the People ? " The question was a pertinent 
one. It was twenty-four years since the first annual grant 
of ;^20,ooo was niade by Parliament for the purpose of 
Elementary Education. This was increased in 1839 ^^ 
;^30,ooo, when the control of it was transferred to a Com- 
mittee of the Privy Council, and by 1858 it had risen to a 
million. The Chancellor of the Exchequer warned the 
House that it would soon amount to three or four millions 
sterling. It was therefore time, my Father felt, " to ex- 
amine thoroughly whether we are in the right track, or 
whether we are not pursuing a totally wrong and down- 
ward course." The paper was written from a strongly in- 
dividualistic standpoint. He deplored ^^ the feeling of de- 

164 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS 165 

pendence on Government" as ^'amongst the evils at- 
tendant on Government Education," which were sure to be 
generated. 

We have quite enough of Government inter-meddling, [he said J 
and the more it is allowed to interfere, the worse for the independ- 
ence and progress of the nation. As the *^ Times ** well put it 
(i2th April, 1 056), ^ What we do for ourselves we generally do 
well: what is done for us bv our Government is as univcnally 
ill done/* 

So he declared himself with no uncertain voice in favour 
of the Voluntary sjrstem — ^though now one trembles to use 
that much abused phrase. " I was rather taken by the phrase 
^ Voluntary Education ' when I first heard it," he explained 
at a later date, when the question of State aid to so-called 
Voluntary Schools was uppermost, ^'but when I found 
that the Voluntary system meant subscribing so much to 
secure a certain sum to make up the required amount, I 
thought that it was a mistake in terms." His own use of 
the term — and indeed the most natural one — ^he defined in 
a letter in 1870, when he wrote : 

I prefer the Voluntary Principle in its true sense, i./., without 
any Government aid or control whatever. 

In 1859 my Father and Mr. Thomas Jarrold signed a 
Circidar, urmng attendance at a meeting at which *^ a few 
friends to Voluntary Education propose to meet to con- 
sider the present position of this question, and what needs 
to be done to improve Voluntary Schools in Norwich." 

He clung to his fondness for the Voluntary system, al- 
though later he modified his views in the light of pradical 
Solitics. Thus in 1870, when the Elementary Eaucation 
lill had just been introduced into the House of Commons 
by Mr. W. E. Forster, he wrote : 

I have been so strong a believer in Voluntary Education that I 
could never bring mjrself cordially to assent to any Government 
scheme, and this feeling still remams to some degree. 



i66 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

But later he came to feel that " Government interference 
is the only general solution of a very difficult question/* 

At the end of the year, when the Bill had become law, 
his views were embodied in the following letter to Canon 
Heaviside, who had been in correspondence with him on 
the subjeft of Elementary Education in Norwich. It was 
hardly likdy they should see eye to eye on the question, 
but, as my Father expressed it, " I am glad to think we can 
diverge without provoking any hostility." 

Carrow House, 

Dec. 22nd, 1870. 
My dear Sir, 

Since I wrote to you a few weeks ago there have been, I 
understand, some meetings between some members of your Com- 
mittee and some Nonconformists in reference to the Education 
question. As I happen to have been a good deal from home I have 
not been able to take any part in them, but as you were good 
enough to write me, I think it only right to say that, having con- 
sidered the matter very carefully, I have come to the conclusion 
that the formation of a School Board would be the best solution of 
our difficulty. Personally I should have preferred no Government 
interference or pay whatever, but beiilg bound to accept inevitable 
fads, I cannot bring myself to look with satisfaction on the de- 
nominational teaching, which must, I fear, result, if the School 
Boards be put on one side. And if the Board be elected I will do 
my best to prevent its partaking of a seClional or party charader, 
but would join with you and your friends in endeavouring to make 
it a (air representation of the different opinions in the City. In 
coming to this conclusion in favour of a School Board, I beg you 
will understand I do not wish to aSt in any way hostile to you or . 
your friends, but simply because I believe it to be the best way to 
promote a sound system of education ; and should the School Board 
not be formed I shall be glad to waive my own individual opinion 
in the desire to promote, by any other means, education in our 
City. 

I am, my dear Sir, 

Yours faithfully, 

J. J. CoLMAN. 

The School Board for Norwich was adopted by a Reso- 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS 167 

lution of the Town G)uncil on Feb. 28di, 1871. My 
Mother, in convejring the news to my Father, reported : 

There was a stormy meeting at the Town Council, it appean, 
but I have not bad time to resul it yet. Mr. Young's Motion for 
a School Board was carried by 29 to 5. 

In notes for one of my Father's speeches on Education 
he used these words : 

We don't grudge the money, but grudge it just so far as it goes 
to promote sedlarianism. 

The Bill of 1870 had been fiercely attacked by the Non- 
conformists, though it must be admitted they were by no 
means unanimous in their suggestions for remedying its 
defeAs, and the allegiance of many of them to their leader, 
Mr. Gladstone, was severely strained. By the increase of 
grants to other schools, there came in the Aft, side by side 
with the establishment of Board Schools, the violation of 
two principles dear to many Nonconformists : 

(i.) That public money ought not to be used for de- 
nominational teaching, and 

(2.) That where public money goes, public control should 
follow. 

The reli^ous difficulty had been foreshadowed by my 
Father in his paper, already referred to, in 1858. In that 
he wrote: 

... if it be right to allow the Church of England or the Non- 
conformist Body generally each to teach their own views of re- 
ligious truth, I cannot, for my own part, see why the Roman 
Catholic or the Jew, or even the Mormon, is not equally entitled 
to perfe£t freedom. 

Referring to a special village he knew of, he continued: 

My friend the Clergyman . • . pays in his somewhat small v^y 
towards the taxes of his countiy and considers that he has a perfea 
right to take the Privy Council Grants, and money which Volunt- 
aries have helped to put there, to teach his own peculiar tenets. 



1 68 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

But in this same village there is another sed, one of those out- 
landish or unknown ones whose title I just now forget, and there 
are, or were a few years back, a good many Mormonites who sadly 
troubled my clerical friend. Now this seSty or these Mormonites, 
paid taxes in just the same proportion as their Vican but he would 
have been sadly scandalized if they had taken Privy Council money, 
and spent it to instil into the minds of their yoimg scholars views 
totally antagonistic to the Church of England. But it requires a 
much nicer discrimination than I can lay claim to, to sav that where 
each contributed to the taxes, one only was entitled to receive 
Government Grants. 

My Father joined in the protest against many of the 
provisions of the Bill of 1870, some orwhich the Govern- 
ment were obliged to modify in Committee. He was ready 
to admit, ten years later, that the Ad had ** great and 
sterling virtues and advantages,'' but that did not blind 
his eyes to its defefts. When seconding the Address in 
the House of Commons in 1872 he referred to the con- 
troversy as follows: 

One word before I sit down on the difficult question of Educa- 
tion. ... As a Nonconformist I cannot but say I regret certain 
portions of our recent legislation, but as a citizen I regret them 
still more, because they tend to promote sedarianism rather than 
place Education on a broad National basis. I am sure that the 
Right Honourable gentleman at the head of the Government, and 
the Right Honourable gentleman who had charge of the Bill, will 
not for one moment imagine that we, as Nonconformists, under- 
value religious teaching, but we have our own convidlions of the 
way in which that teaching is best promoted, and we believe it is 
better to leave it to the freewill of Christian people, rather than 
that it should be promoted and paid for by the State. 

In 1872, when explaining his reasons for supporting 
Mr. Dixon's Resolution in the House of Commons, con- 
demning the AA and censuring the use of public money 
for denominational teaching, my Father wrote: 

The time will come when Education will be free from sedarian 
boundaries, and be on a broad basis accepted by all. It is because I 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS 169 

fear -some portion of the recent A&, tends to delay this time, and 
meanwhile promotes sedarian diftrences, that 1 feel bound to 
record mj vote for the Motion moved by the Hon. Member for 
Birmingham. 

A year later he spoke at a Meeting of the Education 
League^ which, started in 1869, had Mr. Joseph Cham- 
berlain and Aflr. George Dixon as two of its moving 
spirits: 

Whilst agreeing very much with the views of the League, I 
have not been able to accept all its utterances, but, Sir, times and 
circumstances change, and when I see the Country fast dividing 
itself into two camps; I am boiuid to enter the one nearest to my 
own views. These two camps seem to me to be — Denomina- 
tionalism or Se£buianism on the one side — Broad and National 
Education on the other. The Education Union wants the State 
to do the work of the Church. The League wants the State to 
adhere to its own proper province. 

Those who supported the Ad in all its clauses twitted 
their opponents with caring nothing for Education. My 
Father repudiated this taunt. His reply was: 

What is the hSt} Whilst many of the Clergy have been grasp- 
ing at grants for their own Church, we have been educating with 
our own money instead, and it is an untrue thing to say we don't 
value Education and it is unworthy of those who utter the calumny. 
We who know from observation what has gone on could point to 
many a school that has been sustained on the purely voluntary 
principle, whilst a neighbouring one has revelled in public money 
and State Aid. But Education would be very dearly purchased if 
it were at the cost of our religious freedom. And it is because I 
believe our religious freedom is in peril that I am here to-night to 
take part in this meeting. This is no phantom of the imagination, 
but a real and present danger. How the Education ACk might work 
if human or clerical nature were something different from what it 
is, I do not know. But how it does and will work under the cir* 
cumstances is manifest, viz. : to aid the se£ts as such and not the 
nation as such. . . . 

So long as this Ad remains in its present form, so lone will the 
Education of the country be clogged and hindered, and it is because 



lyo JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I (ksire, and not because I undervalue, Educarion, and wish it to 
be brought to every child in the Country, that I am here to (M-omotc 
the Amendment of the A&. 

What my Father's general views on the present educa- 
tional system, as embodied in the recent AA of 1902, 
would have been, may be inferred ifrom a paragraph in a 
letter to Gmon Hinds Howell, written in 1 889. It referred 
to the Report signed by the majority of the Commissioners, 
appointed to inquire into the Elementary Education ASts 
of England and Wales, who foreshadowed the policy of the 
present Government by recommending that Voluntary 
Schools should be assisted from the Rates. Referring to 
the recent Diocesan Conference, my Father wrote : 

I found the Report of your proceedings last week interesting 
reading, and am glad that a majority was found who declined to 
endorse what I consider the most unwise suggestion of the Educa- 
tion Commissioners' Majority Report, viz., that the Voluntary 
Schools should be allowed the support of the Rates equally with 
Board Schools. Were such a suggestion to be aded upon, l think 
it is clear that the whole Education Controversy would be renipened 
in all its bitterness. 

He felt that this Commission had been ^^ nominated and 
appointed with a forgone conclusion — 3, conclusion, if pos- 
sible, to lessen the rights of the ratepayers and the country 
at large to watch over and control education, and to put it 
upon a denominational line." 

My Father held strong views on other points connedled 
with education. He thought there had been too great a 
tendency to centralize the control of education, the result 
being much red-tapeism, which often tended to check use- 
ful experiments that might have been made in schools. 
His experience, already alluded to, in regard to the Carrow 
School only strengthened these views. 

The "Payment by Results" system — ^so he stated in 
1888 — had for some time revealed its attendant evils to 
him. He admitted some amount of examination was 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS 171 

necessary, in r^ard to scholarships, for instance, which he 
thought were valuable ^' as a ladder by means of which the 
poor boy of brains and diligence can gain for himself the 
highest educational advantag^es.*' But he had a great horror 
or the cramming system developed by it, which, in his 
opinion, forced on the backward children unwisely, kept 
back the forward ones, tended to make the education stereo- 
typed and narrow, and arrested the higher development 
or the scholars. 

He expressed the opinion, at one of the Prize Givings at 
the Grammar School, that teachers should not confine too 
much of their attention to one particular subjed. He 
thought a wider course of study would better qualify the 
scholars for any position they might have in after life ^* than 
if they had devoted themselves to one special subJeA, or 
crammed for one special examination." He said further, 
in the same speech, that he was rather inclined to think, 
though perhaps he " might be considered heretical," that 
there " is quite as much to be learned from the study of 
English and modern history as there is fi-om the Romin 
and Greek histories of ages ago," and that " a study of re- 
cent history — of events that are passing in our midst — not 
merely in our own, but in other countries, is deserving the 
attention of boys as well as of men." 

My Father did not take kindly to the idea of Free 
Education, feeling that : 

If education is of value it is one of the things for which people 
generally ought to pay. 

Still the discussion that went on greatly modified his 
opinions, and by 1885 he had come to the conclusion, that, 
after all, in the interests of the children it was desirable to 
make it free. In his views, however, expressed in a speech 
in 1889, ^^Free Education would mean payment by the 
ratepayers, and that would mean control by the ratepayers," 
but as there are some ^^ who consider they have a freehold 



172 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

in certain institutions .of this land, and that they must con- 
tinue to control the education of the children," my Father 
felt it would mean " a tough fight " before their control 
cealsed. 

The complaint that our Educational System was ^^a 
costly one " seemed to him to miss the point He admitted 
it was so, but the real question, he said, *^ is whether it is 
worth the cost." His hope was that ^^ a good Education 
Aft would mean, in the course of a few years, a diminution 
in juvenile crime." 

My Father was keenly interested in the technical side of 
education. He felt that many men fail to get on in life 
for want of a more praftical training. He told a G>nfer- 
ence of Elementary Teachers in 1887 : 

The cry that has been raised over the country for Technical 
Education and Technical Schools aims at this. We need the adop- 
tion of some scheme by which those in schools, from the Ele- 
mentary Schools up to the Universities, shall be taught pradically 
and soundly those things which will at once make them good 
scholars and intelligent workmen. 

When experiments were made in a small way in Norwich 
to start a Technical School for the City the project met 
with his warm approval. He bdieved, he saic^ that Kng- 
lishmen had often been behind some of their foreign rivals, 
who took more pains with their work ; but that if Technical 
Schools would teach what was required, English persever- 
ance might do the rest, and that the English people were 
not devoid of faculties capable of cultivation, or hands that 
could turn out delicate and beautiful work. In view of the 
strong competition from abroad, he fdt it would be a great 
thing to demonstrate this. He was much struck by the 
story of a carpenter who, when out of work, employed his 
odd moments in making a door, a window, or a cupboard, 
imtil he was in a position to build himself a cottage, and 
finally became the owner of several others. My Father 
welcomed, too, any training that would lead to more artistic 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS 173 

surroundings in the cottages of the people, anfd, even when 
not needed from a stridly utilitarian point of view, he felt, 
with Ruskin, that some hand training was eminently de- 
sirable for all. 

But though my Father had a high idea of what might 
be accomplished by an intelligent system of education, 
properly carried ou^ still he did not fed it could accomplish 
everjrthing : 

After all, [he said at the opening of a new Board School in Nor- 
wich,] important and desirable as education is, there is some danger 
that it may become too stereotyped, that too much may be left in 
the hands of the teacher, and not enough undertaken by the parent. 
• ... If we are to make the people truly fitted for this life, and 
for the life to come, it must be by the influence of the home quite 
as much as by the influence of the school. 

Some of my Father's work in educational matters was in 
connexion with the Norwich Grammar School. His interest 
in it was keen, extending over a period of forty years, from 
1858, when a new Scheme for its government was estab- 
lished by the Court of Chancery, the aflairs of the School 
at that time having fallen to a rather low ebb. 

The School had been conne<5ied with the Great Hos- 
pital (St. Helen's) Foundation — a Charter of King Edward 
VI, dated 1 547, obliging the City to use some of the re- 
venue of this Charity for a Grammar School. But in 1 858, 
under the Scheme approved by the Master of the Rolls, 
the Charities were divided, and a separate body of Trustees 
was appointed for the management of the School. At the 
same time two schools were to take the place of the one, 
the Commercial School (re-named the Middle School in 
1886) being then started. This scheme was not adopted 
without much discussion, and stormy meetings of the 
Town Council were held on the subjeA. But at last " the 
long vexed question," as it was described, was settled. 

One point of difference provocative of much discussion, 
the state of the law being somewhat uncertain then, was 



174 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

the admission of Nonconformists as Trustees of the Schools. 
The question was^ however, settled in their favour^ and 
my Father was one of those appointed by the Court of 
Chancery. His views on the admission of Nonconformists 
were embodied in the following notes for a speech in the 
House of Conmions, in 1874, on the Endowed Schools 
Aft Amendment Bill, in which the Conservatives en- 
deavoured to restore the management of some of the 
Schools to the Church of England, the opposition however 
to the " Foundation Clause,' dealing with this part of the 
question, being so strong, that Mr. Disraeli was obliged to 
announce its withdrawal: 

I would not trouble the House, but for the hSt that I have had 
some experience, having been for several years one of the Gov- 
ernors of a Grammar School in my own City. Some fifteen years 
ago the Grammar School in Norwich had sunk to a low state, and 
a new Scheme had to be arranged and a new Governing Body 
elected. It was arranged that there should be five or six Noncon- 
formists out of about twenty Governors, and I think this is one 
'of the earliest instances in wnich Nonconformists were eledted on 
such a body. We have had the control of a Grammar School with 
100 or 120, and a Commercial School with 200 to 250 boys. I 
am therefore speaking with the experience of fifteen years, and I 
cannot call to remembrance one single instance in which there has 
been a contention on our Board arising out of our different re- 
ligious views. Time has brought many subject before us, and 
changes in our Members. A kte Member of this House (Dr. 
Dalrymple) was Chairman at the time of his death. He was suc- 
ceeded by a Canon of the Cathedral, and we have now the Dean 
[the Very Rev. £. M. Goulburn, D.D.] a former master of 
Rugby, and many who are not my political supporters. But I can 
affirm that whatever our ecclesiastical differences outside, they find 
no place on the Board, but that good has resulted — the good being 
the confidence such a mixed body gives to the Citizens at large. 
If Hon. Gentlemen here, or in the Education Department, think 
good would result from the exclusion of Nonconformists, such is 
not I think the view of those who have seen the pradtical working 
of schooU Is that the way to induce Nonconformists to send their 
children ? Most assuredly not, and if that be its ttkStj Noncoo- 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS 175 

formists arc shut out from their jutt rights as Cttiveiis, and the 
School itself loses in numbers and influence ; and I believe I maj 
venture to say that the Church Governors themselves of the 
Schools I refer to, would regret the absence of Nonconformists, 
but believe the presence of Churchmen and Dissenters to be a 
source of strength, and not of weakness. 

In 1880 my Father was eledked Vice-Chairaian of the 
Grammar School Governors, In 1890 Canon Heaviside, 
whose relationship with my Father had always been most 
cordial, felt obliged to resign the Chairmanship, on the 
ground of age and ill-health. Two years earlier, when 
nearly taking this step, he expressed the hope my Father 
would succeed him in the position. The latter in his reply 
thanked the Canon for his ^^ kind references,'* and added: 

Will you remember that some people do not grow older as the 
years go by? • « . Whilst I should feel it an honour to take the 
post you have so long and ably filled I should reproach myself if I 
did so before it was really needful, and I really cannot see at present 
the need for a change. 

When Canon Heaviside's resignation did take place, my 
Father was deded to the Chairmanship. In a letter to 
anon Heaviside he had written: 

As to my own position and the wish you kindly express that I 
should undertake the duties, I should like just to say that I have 
only one wish, viz. : the good of the Trust and well-being of the 
Schools. I am quite aware that for some reasons it might be better 
that I should adt simply as one of the Governors, and not as 
Chairman, but I will do whatever my Colleagues may wish. If it 
be generally thought best that I should fill the post now, I will do 
whatever I can to follow the good example you have set as well 
as your predecessors. But if, on the other hand, either now or at 
any future time, it is felt I had better give way to some one else, I 
shall equally do whatever I can as one of the Governors. 

My Father was always pleased to do what he could for 
the School. He was specially interested in the Science 



176 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

side of it, and g\zd to give financial help for providing 
better accommooation for its teaching. The Middle School, 
he felt, had a special claim on him as an employer, for, as 
he said in one of his speeches, ^^ I have seen its value in 
the education ffiven to many of the Scholars, who have 
from the School entered my own employ." 

He made a point of attending the Prize Givings when- 
ever it was possible. Words of counsel to the boys at 
these times were summarized on one occasion, when he 
said that, if he were to give one word of advice, it would 
be: 

Be earnest, be thorough, no matter whether it is in work or in 
pleasure. I hope you will all go home to your holidajrs resolved 
upon playing as heartily as you can. Depend upon it a boy who is 
able to play well, ought also to be able to work well. It is said that 
^^ all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy '' — a proverb which 
is quite true — but it is equally true that ^ all play and no work 
makes Jack a very dull boy." 

The Meeting of the Social Science G>ngress in Norwich 
left a permanent mark in the history of the City by the 
establishment of the High School for Girls, which was an 
outcome of it. Some ofthose interested in the subjeft or- 
ganized a Conference on the Better Education of Women, 
which was held in Norwich at that time, largely at the insti- 
gation of Mrs. William Grey, who was the chief speaker. 
It was thought desirable to do more in the City for the 
education of girls, and my Father seconded the resolution 
embodying the desire that a school should be started. A 
subsequent meeting was held, at which further information 
was given about the Girls' Public Day Schools. A Com- 
mittee was formed, shares were raised, and the London 
Company was asked to establish a school, which was opened 
on Feb. 22nd, 1875. 

My Father was thoroughly interested in the movement, 
believing as he said then, that it met a real need, and was 
not necessarily antagonistic to private schools, and that: 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS 177 

If there are any bad schook thejr are best done awaj with, but there 
is no reitson why really good private schools for girls should not 
flourish side by side with the High School. 

He accepted the position of Chairman of the Local Com- 
mittee, which at that time assisted in the management of 
the School, but he felt obliged to resign this position in 
1882. 

He believed in giving women every facility for bettering 
their education. Thus as early as 1875, when Mr. Cowper 
Temple's Bill for opening Degrees in Scottish Universities 
to Women was before the House, it had his warm sym- 
pathy. 

My Father was also interested in the administration of 
some of the City Charities, some of which were of an edu- 
cational kind. 

After the Municipal Reform AA of 1835 ^^ various 
Charities of the City, until that time administered by the 
Court of Assembly and Court of Mayoralty, were divided 
into two lists, the Church list and the General list, under 
the management of two groups of Trustees. In 1866 my 
Father was eleded one of the Trustees of the latter. In 
1869 he was made Vice-Chairman, and in 1872 Chairman, 
holding the latter position until his death. 

The Trust included the administration of Doughty's 
Hospital, the Boys* and Girls' Hospital Schools, and a 
number of smaUer bene^uftions of one sort or another, 
started by the benevolent donors for providing such things 
as clothing, blankets, coal, bread, or apprenticeship fees, 
for the poor of the City. This is not the place to follow 
in detail the bewildering maze of schemes and counter- 
schemes, of suggestions and counter-suggestions, that 
passed between the Trustees, the City, and the Charity 
Commissioners, in reference to the administration of these 
Charities. It will be enough to indicate my Father's views 
on one or two points. 

The Charity founded by William Doughty, who died in 

N 



178 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

1688, and bears his name, provides almshouses, situated in 
Calvert Street, for poor aged persons, both men and women. 
The Trust is administered under a Scheme drawn up in 
1884, with sundry more recent additions. 

One point, raised by the a&ion of the Charity Commis- 
sioners and much discussed, was whether the receipt of 
parochial relief ought of necessity to debar a candidate from 
the benefits of this and other Charities. A Common Hall 
on this question was held in 1 890 to protest against making 
it a disqualification. My Father felt keenly on the subjeA, 
and spoke on it in the House of Commons the same year, 
when the Charitable Trusts Bill, a Bill for increasing the 
powers of the Charity Commissioners, was under discusr- 
sion. He felt he could not do otherwise than express his 
dissatisfadion with part of the Bill by opposing it, though 
he was told he would be the only member on the Liberal 
side voting against it. Once again he was chary of too much 
centralization. He felt the danger of a central office that 
could over-ride the decisions of those best qualified to know 
the varying local needs and conditions. He would not have 
minded if the Trustees had merely been instructed to give 
a preference to those candidates who had not received Poor 
Law Relief. But a hard and fast rule, making them in- 
eligible, meant, in his opinion, that cases of hardship would 
arise. Keeping off the rates was not, in his eyes, an infall- 
ible criterion of characSter. While one man might come on 
them purely through misfortune and not throught fault, 
another might keep off them, not because he was law-abid- 
ing and thrifty, but because he had begged or borrowed 
enoi^h from others, or been helped by rich relatives. Yet 
the former, though the more deserving of the two, woiild 
be debarred from help from the Trusts. My Father's remedy 
was " a very simple one and easily applied." He said he 
knew many Trustees, and " had seen their careful work," 
and he asked that they should be allowed to use their 
discretion in the matter: 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS 179 

Just let the Commissioners feel that they themselves are not in- 
fallible^ and that the Bodies of local Trustees scattered up and down 
the Country are men of common sense and right feeling, and may 
be trusted to a£l fairly on cases which come before them. 

The Boys* and Girls* Hospital (or School) ori^nated in 
a bequest by Thomas Anguish, Mayor of Norwich in 1 61 1, 
who died six years later. He bequeathed some property in 
Fishergate to found : 

an Hospital, or Conveniente place for the keepinge, brins;inge up, 
and teachinge of youngeand verv poore children, borne and brought 
up in this City of Norwich, ana specially suche as for wante, lye 
in the Streetes, Vaughtes, Doores, and Windowes, whereby many 
of them fall into great and grievous diseases and Lamenesses as that 
they are fit for no Profession ever after; whereby in compassion 
and great Pitye, in a good Conscience, although I doe acknowledge 
myself the weakest among many other in Abilitye, having many 
children myself, or in Wisdom to direA for the keeping and bring- 
ing up of poor children, notwithstanding as a beginning to my small 
Power, I have given this said House and Ground, being large, 
spacious, and new built, and many Rooms therein (that it may) be 
employed for the placeing of a Master and Dame, or other Teachers^ 
to bring up children that be very poore, and have not Friends to 
helpe them, from the age of 5, 6, or 7 vears, untill they shall atteyne 
to 14 or 15 years, and so be taught m the meane time, accoraing 
to their Disposition, as they may be fittinge for Service, or able to 
Mainteyne themselves by their work. 

Other benevolent citizens followed his example by gifts, 
and the Children's Hospital held an important place as a 
City Charity. Up to 1650 the house in Fishergate ivas the 
home for both boys and girls, but after that the latter were 
moved to another building. In 1862 — ^to pass over the in- 
termediate history — ^the Trustees applied to the Court of 
Chancery to sandion a new Scheme for the administration 
of the Trust for the girls. The outcome of this was the 
building opened two years later in Hospital Lane^ Laken-* 
ham, where girls are trained for domestic service. 

My Father, in one of his speeches, said: 



i8o JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I am a Trustee for several of the Norwich Schools^ and I feel 
that it is the bounden duty of those responsible to provide for the 
education of girls as well as boys. 

My Mother shared her husband's interest in this Insti- 
tution, and often used to help by praftical suggestions as 
to the food and clothing, or subjefts of instruAion for the 
children. The School has for over forty years pursued the 
even tenor of its ways, and quietly accomplished much 
useful work. 

In 1885 the Boys' Hospital School in St. Edmund's was 
closed, and the " Blue-Bottles " or " Red-dps," as the boys 
were called, from their piAuresque costumes of blue cloth 
coats, red waistcoats, and red caps, became things of the 
past. The charmingly quaint costumes of the little maids 
— ^blue dresses with short sleeves, white fichus, and blue 
poke bonnets and strings — had already gone the way of all 
things. 

The Trustees of this Charity did not always have a peace- 
ful time. The history is one of considerable altercation be- 
tween them and the Charity Commissioners, with the Town 
Council, Board of Guardians, and Citizens generally, all, 
at times, joining in the fray. For some time there was a 
deadlock between the Trustees and the Commissioners. 
A Parliamentary SeleA Committee meanwhile held sittings 
on the general question of the administration of Charity 
Trusts, and for a time the Trust remained in abejrance. 
The discussions on schemes and counter-schemes at last 
produced the one of 1896, under which the Charity is now 
administered. Under this the Girls' School at Lakenham 
was made a separate Foundation, under the name of An- 
guish's Girls' Hospital. There is no residential school for 
the boys, but an allowance is made for clothing and board 
to those elected on the Foundation, and they are educated 
at a school approved by the Trustees, while Scholarships, 
under certain conditions, are provided for poor boys, tenable 
at certain secondary and technical schools. 



EDUCATIONAL VIEWS i8i 

Changing conditions had brought changing requirements 
. in regard to many of the Charitable Trusts. 

In mjr judgment, [wrote my Father in 1892,] Free Education 
and the grants for Technical Education have very materially altered 
the position of afl&irs. This is very generally conceded. 

But though the principle might be conceded^ it was an- 
other thing to get the details setded and sanftioned. The 
delays that occurred were often irksome, and the changes 
were not accomplished without a considerable expenditure 
of time, thought and trouble on the part of my Father and 
his fellow Trustees. 



CHAPTER XII 

MUNICIPAL LIFE 

MY Father entered the Norwich Town G)uncil in 
1 8 59 at the age of twenty-nine. He always thought 
a city had claims on its citizens. He felt the force of a re- 
mark made by Lord Derby, in 1879, to the effed it was a 
good thing men should go into municipal aiBurs to see 
what they could do for the town, instead of seeing what 
the town could do for them. For several years he had 
been asked to stand, but until 1 8 5 8 he did not see his way 
to do so. The previous year he had written : 

As to the Council I can only say as I said before, I don't want 
permanendy to shirk it, but I do want to be out of it for awhile. 
I am not old and grey-headed yet, and what may be a duty a few 
years hence I cannot regard in that light now. So long as we are 
engaged building at Carrow, my time is fully occupied, and I do 
not want to add any engagements of a public sort. 

This, it must be remembered, was only a year after he 
had gone to live in Norwich. But in 1858 he was per- 
suaded to stand for what was known, before the redistribu- 
tion of Wards, as the 4th Ward, consisting of the Parish 
of St. Peter Mancroft, in company with Mr. Frederic 
Pigg, their opponents being Mr. Gedge and Mr. Boswell. 
A split among the Liberals of the Ward, and the influence 
of one of their opponents " being too strong for a couple 
of young Liberals," as my Father put it, caused defeat. It 
was the first and last time that he was beaten at an eledtion 
contest, either Municipal or Parliamentary. 

The following year he stood for the same Ward, and 
was duly elefted. He represented it until 1 871, when, 

182 



MUNICIPAL LIFE 183 

owing to the pressure of Parliamentary and other duties, 
he fdt it only right to retire, and in doing so he wrote : 

I have no wish to shrink from my share of Municipal duties, so 
far as time permits, but I cannot reconcile it with my sense of 
duty to hold an office to which I am unable to give the needful 
attention, and as it is impossible for me to attend the meetings of 
the Council as before, I am from the force of circumstances, and 
not from my own wish, compelled to decline the invitation to 
stand this year. 

But in reference to this decision, he said once : 

I sometimes wonder whether it would not be a good thing if 
the Municipal Corporations Association would get introduced to 
Parliament a Bill to confer honorary membership, or something 
of that sort, on Members of Parliament connected with their differ- 
ent localities. I think such a move might be better for our Muni- 
cipal life in the long run. 

His address to the Eleftors of the 4th Ward in 1859 
contained these words : 

Though it may well be doubted whether party polities should 
have so much to do with local aflairs, I may express my hope that 
devotedness to the great principles of Liberty and Progress will 
not be otherwise than a recommendation to your suffrages. 

His views foreshadowed in the first half of the sentence 
became only more strong with years. He felt that the ex- 
treme party spirit which often dominated the Ward Elec- 
tions was disastrous to the best interests of the City. To 
a gentleman who drew his attention to a discussion on 
Municipal Work in the "Economic Journal" in 1895 ^^ 
wrote : 

I don't know that I have any special moral of my own to offer, 
except that the discussion makes me feel that in local as well as 
imperial affairs, if we could throw politics more on one side, and 
discuss Economics — which are just as important — it would be 
better. 

The policy of tying down representatives to the party 



1 84 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

ong^anizations, never allowing them to follow the didates 
or their own independent judgment, tended, in his vie^7, 
to estrange men of charaAer, thought, and culture, whose 
presence was greatly needed in the Council Chamber. In 
1 891, after a flagrant case of this kind, as he considered it^ 
he expressed himself strongly against the aftion of Ward 
Associations in lightly meting out censure to their repre- 
sentatives : 

I am so persuaded that the spirit to which I have referred must 
have the efFed of lowering the personnel of the Council, School 
Board and other public representative bodies — ^not excluding the 
M.P/s for the City — that I am desirous of pointing out the evil, 
and doing what I can to remedy it. 

The Aldermanic question had been a frequent and fruit- 
ful source of strife oetween the rival parties. In 1893 he 
wrote on this subjed : 

I feel constrained to say that for some time past I have regretted, 
and differed from, the a£lion of the Norwich Liberal Party as to 
Town Council matters, and the £le£tion of Aldermen. The main 
consideration has lately been — ^not how to secure the most efficient 
men to carry on the businees of the City, (a large part of which 
has nothing to do with any political question,) but rather to obtain 
such men as are most amenable to a strid party discipline. And 
as soon as any Councillor or Alderman finds any difficulty in sub- 
scribing to every item of the current creed, either of Imperial or 
Local Liberal Politics, he is at once considered ineligible, never 
mind how good may be his general business abilities, nor how 
valuable his special training and acquirements. Now I believe this 
system to be damaging to the best interests of the City — and in 
the long run to the Liberal Party too-— as it grievously limits and 
lessens the field fi'om which capable representatives can be chosen. 

The policy of "grabbing all the Aldermen " was in his 
eyes fatally bad, and he felt so strongly on the subjeft that 
in 1895 he embodied his views in letters to the leaders of 
both political parties, in which he wrote : 

I have long regretted the way in which our municipal contests 



MUNICIPAL LIFE 185 

in Norwich have been made triak of strength for the rival political 
parties, when the real question obviously is : which man is best 
fitted to promote the welfare and good government of the City in 
which we live? That the eleftion of Aldermen should be an addi- 
tional incentive to this pafty spirit seems to me to be deplorable; 
and I speak as one of the few Norwich' citizens remaining who 
had a part to play in connexion with the disgraceful municipal 
afi&ir of 1859. [The Bribery Case: see page 221.] 

There have been discussions as to whether the £le£Uon of Al- 
dermen ought to be so ordered as: 

(i.) To ensure the equality of parties in the Council, or 

(2.) Whether they should •* follow the Wards," which means, I 
believe, that if there were one-fourth of the Eleded Councillors of 
one party, and three-fourths of the other, the parties should take 
one-fourth and three-fourths respectively of the Aldermen to be 
eledled; or 

(3.) Whether they should be equally divided between the poli- 
tical parties — ^which I may still consider to be two. 

Each of the above plans may have its adherents— though the 
first may to-day be considered out of date; the second is obviously 
open to the objedtion of difficulty as to the exadt number of Alder- 
men justified by the numerical state of parties in the Coimcil; and 
I cannot but think, myself, that the third plan of giving an exa£t 
number of Aldermen to each of the two political parties is much 
the best. It places the Aldermanic, like the Magisterial, Bench 
above the sphere of party politics ; and there seems no reason to 
fear that either party in the City will for a long time to come lack 
eight men who will deserve and be fitted for the honourable post 
of Aldermen. 

The importance of getting; a wide representation on the 
Council was only increased, my Father felt, by the ever 
increasing duties which were being entrusted to Corpora- 
tions. The cKange was very noticeable in his lifetime, and 
he welcomed the enlargement of their responsibities. Thus 
with " the very proper desire that our Corporation should 
do more than in former years to provide for the physical 
welfare and well-being of the people," with a Free Library 
and Technical InstruAion to be looked after, with the 
acquisition of various private undertakings to be considered. 



1 86 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

—such as Gas and Water Works, which he felt " should 
be in the hands of the Corporations " — ^and with the carry- 
ing out of " town improvements which were not thought 
offifty or sixty years ago, and would not have been carried 
out, if they had been thought of," there was, he felt, abund- 
ant scope for the adivities of the ablest citizens. Thus he 
told the Corporation, when receiving the Honorary Free- 
dom of the City : 

In order that this work may be well accomplished we need the 
co-operation of all classes of our fellow citizens. There has been a 
disposition, I think, among some of the leisured and wealthy classes 
to leave local self-2overnment, but I hope the time will come when 
we shall see all classes in our Town Councib — the wealthy and 
leisured classes not excluding those who are less well off in this 
world's goods, and those that are poor having no other desire than 
that the wealthy and more leisurely should be with them. 

Of course my Father recognized the truth of the old 
adage that "it takes two to make a bargain," and that 
sometimes one party was almost forced by the other to 
follow party lines. Thus, of late years, he told his hearers 
in 1891: 

A certain sedlion of the Community has so introduced party con- 
siderations into local afiairs that Liberals have no choice but to 
respond to the challenge, and when we see the attitude which the 
publicans, headed by the brewers, have assumed because of the per- 
feftly legitimate adlion of the Town Council, the Magistrates and 
the Temperance party in regard to the licensing of public-houses, 
. . . Liberals are justified in afting on party lines even more strongly 
than they have hitherto done. 

In 1896 my Father was elefted an Alderman by the 
Norwich Town Council. He accepted the honour " as an 
expression of confidence and regard," but did so on the 
clear understanding that he would be unable to do much 
work, and that he was ** still all for minimising party dis- 
tinctions and party considerations.^' 

From 1862-3 "^y Father served his City as Sheriff. 



MUNICIPAL LIFE 187 

A few years earlier he seems to have been sounded on the 
subjed, but found it hard to believe that his questioner 
was not joking, as the idea was *^ too absurd and ridicidous 
to be true." " If it was a joke it was a stupid one," he 
wrote, and if any persons had been thinking of him he 
hoped he would ^^ be dismissed from their minds for the 
next ten years at least" But in half that time, at the age 
of thirty-two, he consented to step into the office, which 
had already been held by his father and his great-uncle, 
Jeremiah G)lman. They must have been in his mind 
when, at his eleftion, he said in the Council Chamber : 

It 18 my duty to say that I cannot give my assent to all that has 
been said so kindly by Sir William Foster in reference to my posi- 
tion and standing in the City, for I feel that in a very great degree 
my position is due to those who have gone before me. 

Though he would have preferred to postpone the date, 
he accepted the position, feeling that: 

If these o£Sces are to be served by gentlemen only when it suits 
their convenience, it is possible that they would very seldom be 
filled at all. 

Many years later, when pressing this point on a reluAant 
citizen, he wrote : 

No one feels more strongly than I do that of late years too much 
has been expedled — and exaded — of the Mayor and Sheriff, and I 
think it will be a good thing if you and the Mayor too will say 
** No ** to very many claims on time and purse. But — having said 
and admitted that — may I add there are claims from the City's point 
of view both on Families and Individuals? 

The Mayor during my Father's Shrievalty was Mr. 
H. S. Patteson, a Colleague for whom he retained a high 
regard. Thirty-nine years later their sons held the same 
offices, only in the reverse order, my Brother being Mayor 
when Mr. H. T. S. Patteson was Sheriff. On the eve of 
my Father's eleftion he recounted to his sister : 



1 88 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I had a few minutes' chat yesterday with my Colleague Elcd^ 
Mr. Patteson. I foimd he had called on Thursday when I was in 
London. He was very pleasant and said he was glad to have me 
with him which of course I reciprocated, and then alluding to our 
Political differences^ said in a joking way, ^* Well, extremes meet^ 
so we shall get on well together." I suppose you know he is a 
thorough Tory and Churchman, but about the best of them in 
Norwich. 

Their relationship during the year of office was one of 
unbroken harmony. At the close Mr. Patteson expressed 
his gratitude in the Council Chamber " for having had so 
agreeable a colleague as the Sheriff to ad with me,'* while 
my Father replied that " from the first citizen of the year, 
the Mayor, down to all with whom I have come in contadfc, 
I have received unvarying kindness and courtesy." 

One of the events during the year was a Dinner given 
by my Father in the Corn Exchange, on March loth, 1 863, 
to celebrate the marriage of the Prince of Wales with 
Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The guests numbered 
over 900 ; none were under 70, and the average age was 
about 74. In arranging the festivities my Father s thoughts 
turned backwards to his early home, and the old people at 
Stoke were amongst those invited. "Though you have 
left us, you have not forgotten us," the Vicar wrote in 
reply to the invitation, " and it will be a pleasure to you to 
know that we have not forgotten you." 

My Father had to form one of a Deputation which went 
to Sandringham to present the wrougKt-iron gates, since 
placed at the entrance to the drive there, as a wedding 
present to the Prince and Princess from Norfolk and Nor- 
wich, of which the Prince said in his reply that: 

Connected intimately as I now am with Norfolk, I regard with 
pride so beautiful a specimen of Norwich Workmanship and Art. 

Other events of local interest were the re-opening of St. 
Andrew's Hall after its restoration, and the Triennial 
Musical Festival, which fell during my Father's Shrievalty. 



MUNICIPAL LIFE 189 

In 1 867, at the age of thirty-seven, he accepted the office 
of Mayor for the ensuing year. The Sheriff was Mr. Robert 
Fitch, of whom my Father said in his closing speech to the 
Council, that: 

We were a little acquainted before Nov. 9th, 1867, but since 
then we have formed an acquaintance which I hope has ripened 
into friendship. 

My Father was able to state at the close of the year 
that he had only been absent from the Council meetings 
three times, " on which occasions there was either very 
little to do, or important business summoned me away." 
He regretted it had not been in his power to give up so 
much time to magisterial business as he could have wished, 
though he had said at the start that : 

With resped to the Sword Room duties I must confess they are 
such as I would very gladly avoid. I think it is an anomaly to place 
as Chief Magistrate for the year one who, like myself, is a complete 
novice in magisterial business. 

Though at the clos^ of the year my Father was relieved, 
he said, to feel that the time ^* has come when there is put 
upon other shovdders the chain with the five series of links," 
yet " during the long series of years since the first Mayor 
of this City was eledted," [William Appleyard in 1404] 
" many gentlemen have received the thanks of the citizens, 
but I am sure that none of them have returned thanks for 
your vote more gratefully than I do to-day, or have had 
more occasion to acknowledge the courtesy and kindness 
with which their fellow citizens received them during their 
year of office." 

In later years, and on more than one occasion, he was 
asked again to be Mayor, but Parliamentary life had 
brought increasing claims, and he did not see his way to 
accept 

One of my Father^s early duties as Mayor was to 
summon a Common Hall on December 24th, 1867, in 



I90 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

response to an influentially signed requisition, to protest 
against the recent outrages at Clerkenwell, and to assure 
the Government of " the support of all classes of the com- 
munity in taking strong and efFeAual measures to repress 
such atrocities." That attempt to blow up the House of 
Detention, by which many innocent people suffered, in 
the hope of rescuing two prisoners conneded with the 
Fenian Movement — of which a good deal was heard then 
— roused much excitement in the country, and many hard 
things were said against the Irish nation. My Father, 
however, made no sweeping assertions. While "there 
could be but one feeling in reference to the terrible 
atrocity," he did not believe, he said, " that the inhabitants 
of Ireland to any very great extent sympathize with those 
atrocities." All classes were met together that day, and he 
hoped they would also be ready, when the time came, " to 
join the Country in doing what they could to remedy what- 
ever grievances the Sister Country might suffer from," for 
they " were not there to denounce the Irish nation, but 
rather to hold out the right hand of brotherhood to them, 
and to hope that the time would soon come when Eng- 
land, Scotland and Ireland might be firmly allied, and con- 
tinue a ^orious and united country." 

The Dinner to a thousand aged persons, which my 
Father gave as Mayor, in celebration of the Queen's Birth- 
day, was soon followed, on May 28th, 1868, by an Enter- 
tainment of a somewhat unusual charadler for a Mayor to 
give in those days. This was a Reunion of Sunday School 
Teachers, of whom about 1,300 met in St. Andrew's Halt, 
gathered from between fifty and sixty Schools of various 
Denominations, about 400 coming from Church of Eng- 
land Schools. They were asked, he explained, " that those 
who are engaged in different Sunday Schools, but in the 
same important work, may have an opportunity of socially 
meeting and talking with one another, and tnus of pro- 
moting harmony and good feeling." 



MUNICIPAL LIFE 191 

Perhaps the most interesting episode during my Father's 
Mayoralty was the Meeting of the British Association held 
in Norwich in August, i868. He did not disguise his 
pleasure that this fell during his year of office. It was a 
Meeting, he said afterwards, which "has given me the 
opportunity of coming across many gentlemen with whom 
I have formed acquaintances, which I hope may continue 
friendships hereafter." Many, at his request, sent him their 
photographs, which, placed in an album, formed a valued 
souvenir of the occasion. Amongst the visitors must be 
mentioned tlie President for the year. Dr. (afterwards Sir) 
Joseph D. Hooker, F.R.S., DireAor of the Royal Gardens 
at Kew, whose father hailed from Norwich, and whose love 
of flowers formed a strong bond of union with my Father 
and Mother. The guests at Gutow House included Sir 
Charles and Lady Lyell, who charmed their host and 
hostess greatly, and an Italian, Signor Christoforo Negri, 
whom my Father was glad to meet once again many years 
later in his native land. 

Among the festivities of the occasion was a Breakfast 
given to some of the members by my Father and Mother 
m St. Andrew's Hall, at which he said: 

I feel proud at having the opportunity of entertaining you, for 
I feel, as a commercial man interested in a manufaduring business, 
that we are deeply indebted to the men of science — men who ex- 
plore the hidden secrets of nature, and are afterwards able to reveal 
them for the good and the happiness of the nation and the world. 

Local colouring was given to the Meeting by papers, 
amongst others, on " The Glacial Strufture of Norfolk and 
Suffolk," by Mr. F. W. Harmer and Mr. S. V. Wood; 
" The Denudations of Norfolk," by the Rev. Osborn 
Fisher; "The Norfolk Crag," by Mr. George Maw; and 
" Norfolk Farming," by Mr. C. S. Read ; and one on the 
the extinction of the Great Bustard in Norfolk, the last 
county in the kingdom to reckon that bird amongst its 



192 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

resident species. This was by Mr. H. Stevenson, who, 
goaded by the fashion of the day — ^not, alas I as extinft as 
the bustard — ^while bemoaning that the bird had *^ passed 
for ever out of our local fauna," added his belief: 

Better thus than to have survived a few years later, to have met 
with a no less certain and more melancholy end. Had it still ex- 
isted in 1868 some reigning belle, some leading votary of fashion, 
would inevitably have decreed that bustards' plumes should be 
^ the thing ** for the season. Then, indeed, its &te would have 
been sealed at once, and the last British Bustard would have been 
cut up for hats I 

Broadland was still an undiscovered part of the county, 
and indeed remained curiously free from invasion for many 
years after this. Mr. R. B. Grantham, who read a paper 
on this subjeft, had to explain that: 

The motive that has induced me to prepare a paper for this 
Meeting of the British Association is to draw attention to the 
lakes, or as they are locally called ^^ Broads," which are situated in 
the eastern portion of this coimty. 

Everything conneded with the gathering seems to have 
passed off well, if one may judge from the verdicft ex- 

i)ressed, largely owing to the strenuous exertions of the 
ocal secretaries, the Rev. (afterwards Canon) Hinds Howell, 
the Rev. J. Crompton, and Dr. Dalrymple. Professor 
Adam Sedgwick, unfortunately kept to his house during 
the meetings by the result of an accident, wrote to my 
Father: 

I send you my congratulations on the great success of the meet- 
ing which did honour to that grand old city of which you, Mr. 
Mayor, were the Chief Magistrate. 

And Professor Huxley, in voicing the thanks of the 
visitors, said: 

After I had been in Norfolk a couple of days somebody asked 
me how I liked the place, when I replied that I thought it was a 
charming spot, but that if there was a fault to be remedied, it 



MUNICIPAL LIFE 193 

might be that the streets should be a little straighter, but that after 
all that did not matter so very much, because, however often you 
lost your way, and however numerous might be the turns, you 
were sure to find hospitality at the end of every lane. 

It was a time which my Father always looked back 
upon with special interest, and on more than one occasion 
he renewed his acquaintance with some of the members 
by attending subsequent meetings at Exeter (i 869), Liver- 
pool (1870), York (18 81), Southampton (18 82), and Man- 
chester (1887). 

It may be mentioned here that my Father was appointed 
a Magistrate for Norwich in 1869, for though personally 
he would " very much rather have been left out on very 
many accounts, * he yielded to the urgings of friends, and 
decided to qualify, and in 1872 he was made a Justice 
of the Peace for Norfolk, and sometime later one for 
Suffolk. 

In 1880 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for 
Norfolk, the chief change being that at the occasional 
Court fundions he attended he had to don a Deputy 
Lieutenant's uniform instead of the ordinary Court suit. 
The scarlet cloth and braidings he always declared were 
most unsuitable for one so htde in touch with military 
afikirs as he was, and he cordially detested the stiffness of 
the coat and collar. 

Near the close of his life his name was amongst thos^ 
pricked for the High Shrievalty of Norfolk, and he w?p 
prepared to serve, but failing strength obliged him afte r- 
wards to plead inability to carry out its duties, and hi's 
name was removed from the list. 



CHAPTER XIII 

EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 

MY Father's interest in politics may be said to date 
from childhood. Brought up in a family with strong 
Liberal tendencies, he must early in life have been imbued 
with the same beliefs. In a speech delivered in St. Andrew's 
Hall, at the close of twenty-one years of parliamentary life, 
he revived his recoUeAions of early eleftioneering days : 

The first thing I recolledl, when I was at the mature age of 
seven attending a lady's school in Norwich, where I was under- 
going the first part of my education, was the coming home of her 
husband, a strong Tory, who informed the scholars that the Tories 
had got in and the Radicals had been defeated. That was the 
General Eleftion of 1837, 

occasioned, according to the law in those days, by the death 
of the King, and resulting in the return of the Marquis of 
Douro and the Hon. Robert C. Scarlett. 

We were told the Tories had got in, [he continued,] but we 
were not told, and I dare say we should not have understood it if 
we had been told, that it was by a very small majority, and a very 
lavish expenditure of money. I am inclined to think that even at 
that age I was rather a strong Liberal. The fad is I had a relative 
who used to be very fond of sindng that old song, ** The Trumpet 
of Liberty sounds through the World," written by a Norwich man.^ 
Thus I was indodtrinated with Liberalism in rather early years. 

On another occasion, my Father said he could recoUed: 
" the extreme indignation " with which he heard of the 
success of the Tory candidates at this Eleftion. A Petition 

* John Taylor. 
194 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 195 

was presented against their return, and, in the end, one 
Tory and one Liberal were declared eleded. He had 
amongst his curios a large silk pocket-handkerchief, with 
the Norwich arms and the inscription woven in orange and 
purple, the Tory colours, " Douro and Scarlett the Pro- 
moters of the Norwich Manufadures,*' which was one of 
those distributed at that Eledion. 

When my Father had to give evidence before the Nor- 
wich Eleftion Commissioners in 1875, he said he "hoped 
things had very much improved," and roused their interest 
by giving some details or this 1837 Eledion, taken from a 
Blue Book, published in 1 840, which incidentally referred 
to it. This was the Report of one of the Assistant Hand- 
loom Inquiry Commissioners (Mr. J. Mitchell, LL.D.), 
who, after his inquiry into the condition of the hand-loom 
weavers in Norwich, devoted some pages of his Report to 
the demoralization caused amongst them by the eledlioneer- 
ing abuses of the day, and made special reference to this 
recent Eledion. The Tory party (the orange and purple), 
seem to have spent less money than their opponents, not 
apparently from any access of virtue, but from greater 
astuteness in deciding the exaA psychological moment at 
which it was necessary to begin to tempt the voters. Con- 
sequendy, their opponents (the blue and white party), 
cooped voters longer — ^the synonym for removing them 
from Norwich, usually on to the Broads, or to distant 
public-houses, where they were treated royally, and brought 
back to the polling booth to record their votes, as in honour 
bound, for the party which had spent so much on them ; or, 
if they could not be trusted to do this, kept away from 
temptation until the poU was closed. The following extrafts 
cast a lurid light on the state of afikirs at that time. 

The last general eledion at Norwich afforded a striking view of 
the party spirit of the city, and of the pradtices by which the lead- 
ing men have a&ed on the poverty, the necessities, and the frailty 



196 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

and wickedness of the poorer citizens, many of whom are weavers, 
and their interests have much suffered in consequence. 

The number of voters for the ^ purple and orange " candidates 
was 1,865 ^"^ 1 1^63; and for the ^^ blue and white ** candidates^ 
1,843 ^^^ ^>^3') of whom 1,400 voted under the influence of the 
most open application of pecuniary temptation. 

The money spent, according to the information given to me hj 
two gentlemen who could not but know, was about ^44,000.' 

The ^^blue and white** party spent more money than the 
^' purple and orange '' party ; and this is attributable to what many 
consider to have been a blunder in their taftics, and which is thus 
explained. 

The ^ purple and orange " party had felt secure that there would 
be no opposition ; and if the ^^ olue and white '' party had kept 
quiet until close on the day of eledion, which was on a Tuesday, 
it is supposed that they might have taken their opponents by sur- 
prise, and snatched a vidory. But they commenced operations on 
the Wednesday, being six days before the election, and began 
actively to buy votes, and to carry off the voters **into coop.*' They 
had thus the expense of six days to defray. But as soon as the 
^ purple and orange ** party saw what was doing, they sent off* to 
London for money, which arrived on Saturday, and they had time 
to buy back their friends from the ^^ blue and white " party ; and 
those whom they carried into coop, they had to keep only three 
days, which was much less expense than keeping them six dajrs. 
One of the chiefs of the ^^ blue and white " party admitted the 
impolicy of their early declaration of a contest, but said that his 
views had been overruled in the committee. 

The contest was carried on very openly. There was no hypocrisy, 
no concealment, on either side. There were 1,400 to be bought, 
and about them lay the struggle. 

One gentleman stated to me that he himself had the distribution 
of money to the voters on the day of eledion. He sat at a table in 
a large room, having before him parcels coiled up of bank-notes of 
^10, of ^15, of ^20, of ^25, of £30, of ^35, of ;^40 value, afl 
m readiness, that there might be no loss of time in counting. The 
voters, one at a time, entered at one door, passed through the room, 
and out at another door. Every man was asked what he had agreed 
for, and it was handed to him. One man woidd be so innocent as 
to ask for only j^io; the next man would ask for ^20, and both 
were paid with equal readiness. Then might come, perhaps, one 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 197 

who would ask for £iS^ and it would be paid; but with a caution 
given to him not to spoil the market by letting anybody know that 
he had got more than ^10. But the other sums were given. A 
grocer or other substantial tradesman looked for ^^40, and there 
were the cases of two professional men who each had £50. 

The gentleman who paid all this money stated it with the most 
hearty frankness ; and when he was told that the guilt of all these 
doings rested upon himself and on the other criminals who com- 
posed the committee, he laughed, consoling himself that he had 
msuiv coadjutors with whom to support the burden. 

Towards the close of the poll nobody could say on what side lay 
the vi&ory ; every vote therefore was sought out, and no money 
was thought too much. . . . 

To the honour of both parties it deserves to be stated, that 
neither of them inflifled on -the voters the guilt of the crime of 
perjury, by demanding the oath against bribery to be administered. 
The oath could not have prevented the voters from accepting the 
money, and it is devoutly to be wished that such oath may never 
be administered again. 

To the glory of both parties, it deserves also to be stated, that 
they behaved with the most punctilious sense of honour towards 
each other. If a man had received ^10 from the ^* blue and white " 
party, and a ^purple and orange*' committee-man had got hold of 
him, and bought him back at ^15, the ^5 only was handed to the 
voter, and the /lo was sent back to the ^blue and white" com- 
mittee. If a ''blue and white " committee-man got hold of this 
voter, and bought him back a second time at ^{^20, only the /5 
would be handed to him, and the ^ 1 5 would be sent to the " purple 
and orange " committee. So in other cases. It would have saved 
trouble to have kept a debtor and creditor account against each 
other, and only to have paid over the balance, and in such a system- 
atic arrangement as was made, it is wonderftil this mode of doing 
business was not adopted, instead of settling the cases one by one. 
It is an improvement which on a future day we may expedi to 
see established. Such a system of buying and selling votes has a 
ruinous ttkSt on the morals of the luihappy voters ; a man cannot 
afterwards be on good terms with himself. 

A contested election most seriously injures the trade of the city. 
Some of the manufa£hirers stated that they considered that it was 
equivalent fiiUy to the loss of one month. . . • 



»» 

»» 



198 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

The following evidence of Mr. James Spalding, an operative, 
will show the views of the men who still hold fisist their integrity. 

^. ^^ I presume that, like other people, you could have profited 
well by the last general eledion ? " — A. " I never took any money 
for my vote ; I would not do it. It would destroy my peace of 
mind, and blast 'my charader. I could not show my face after it." 

J^. "Do you see election money ever do any good ?" — A, " Neverj 
it does every man harm that receives it There is no blessing with 
it ; it is soon all spent in drinking and extravagance, and the man 
is worse off than ever." 

J^. " Have you ever been put in coop at election times f " — A. 
" No, I never have. I never saw such work as at the last general 
election. In our parish of St. Mardn-at-Oak, I do not think that 
there were above two or three who were at liberty. There were 
about fifty or sixty black-looking desperate characters going about 
to lay hold of the voters and carry them off to coop, and I was 
afraid to, come into the street j I durst hardly go into my own 
garden. It was the same in all the other parishes in the city. 

" Would they have cooped you in some house in the city ? 
" No ; that would not have been safe at such an election as 
the last. The voters were carried off * to coop,' twelve, fourteen, 
or eighteen miles down into the country, to keep them out of the 
way of the temptation of the enemy." 

^. " I presume that you would have nothing to fear as to eating 
and drinking whilst in coop? " — A. ^^ No danger on that head, and 
only too much drinking; but I should have been in a prison ; there 
would have been guards all round the house, to prevent any one 
getting out for fear of desertion to the enemy. The whole election 
system is very injurious to Norwich, and disgraces all parties. It 
is not purity of eledtion." 

But to return to my Father's reminiscences. 

The next political thing I have a recoUedion of was the meeting 
in this great hall, when Mr. Cobden came down to the City, and 
Mr. Tillett took the chair. Thus, in that way, my political educa- 
tion kept going on. 

This meting, already referred to, at which his father, 
James G>lman, his great-uncle, Jeremiah Oilman, and his 
future father-in-law, W. H. G)zens-Hardy, were also pre- 
sent, was held on January 20th, 1846, and was convened 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 199 

by the Mayor at the request of the Anti-Corn-Law League 
of Norwich. Five thousand people were said to have been 
present at it. Mr. Cobden'3 words to them were : 

We are going; to abolish the Corn Law. We will do it. You 
see the old edifice shaking now, but you will see it tottering and 
crumbling before another six weeks are over. 

The importance of this meetings held on the eve of the 
opening of Parliament, and in an agricultural distrift, was 
acknowledged. A special engine was chartered by the 
" Daily News,'* then just started, to convey its reporters 
back to London, and a second engine by the other London 
papers — the latter " performing the journey in four hours 
and eight minutes.' Two days after the meeting, the 
Premier, Sir Robert Peel, in his speech on the Address, 
made the fateful announcement that his views had under- 
gone a complete alteration, and foreshadowed the change 
of policy, culminating in the Aft for the Repeal of the Corn 
Laws, which received the Royal Assent on June 26th, 1 846. 

Though my Father was too young at the time to have 
much to do with that great struggle m the 'forties, yet he 
never swerved from the Free Trade principles which even 
then he had adopted. In 1854 he wrote a letter to the 
" Norfolk News ' on " High Prices and Free Trade," with 
the intention of showing that the former was not the result 
of the latter, but attributable to causes quite distind. He 
never disguised his views, and in 1883, when elefted an 
honorary member of the American Chamber of Commerce, 
he declined the honour, because, ^o he wrote : 

It would appear from your circular and the general tone of the 
Journal sent with it, that your Chamber, if not decidedly in favour 
of Protedion, has at least noc made up its mind as to the Free 
Trade policy, regarding it still as an open question. I feel it would 
be scarcely consistent or desirable for any one so fully persuaded 
as I am in favour of Free Trade to seem to share in any doubt as 
to the right national policy with respect to this matter. 



200 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Of the General Eleftion of 1 847, my Father, continuing 
his same speech, said: 

I distindly remember, during the vigorous fight of 1847, heing 
told by Mr. Tillett in a Committee Koom somewhere in this 
neighbourhood, to run as fast as I could to Ber Street, with a mes- 
sage to the Liberal Committee Rooms. That particular fight very 
much impressed me. 

It was a three-cornered fight in Norwich. The Marquis 
of Douro was the Tory candidate. The Liberals were far 
from being united, and Mr. (afterwards Sir) S. Morton 
Peto represented the Whig seftion, and Mr. J. H. Parry, 
a barrister, the more advanced sedion. Mr. Peto and the 
Marquis were the two eleded. 

In his same speech, my Father referred to the year 1848 
as being " a memorable one politically in the history of this 
country." The spirit of unrest which swept across Europe 
in that year which witnessed the fall or the dynasty of 
Lx)uis Philippe in France, passed over England too, rous- 
ing the movement of some ten years* standing into sudden 
aftivity. The Chartist agitation, voicing the discontent 
against grievances that pressed on the working classes, 
sprang into importance, and awakened the alarm of many- 
peaceful inhabitants. This was felt to some extent in Nor- 
wich. The following letter to my Father, who was in 
London, from his great-aunt, Mrs. Jeremiah Colman, dated 
April 9th, 1848, gives some account of the state of finding 
in the City. 

I was very much gratified by yours of the 8th. To hear you 
were all well, and enjoying yourselves in these troublous times is a 
great comfort. I think a good deal about the Chartist Demonstra- 
tion of to-morrow, but my mind is somewhat relieved by your 
accoimt of the little that is thought and known about it by persons 
dwelling in London. Most sincerely do I hope all will end peace- 
ably. We cannot cxpeSt while every Power appears to be deranged 
and dissatisfied that we should remain entirely at peace. As we 
went to Meeting this morning, Uncle was accosted by a Policeman 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 2oi 

"mrho said the Mayor wanted to see him at half-past twelve. Uncle 
attended the summons. Many of the magistrates were present It 
wras in consequence of an expeded meeting of the Chartists to 
assemble on Mousehold — Spicial ConstabUs are enrolled, and the 
Nf ayor has requested the Gents to meet him again at four o'clock. 
Uncle is one of those who thipk little of it, and believe it will all 
\Aow over. Some think the precautions very proper, and I am one 
of the latter class, for it would not do to be unprepared should any 
outbreak occur. I recoiled my dear Father, when any national 
troubles arose, always said, ^ The Lord reigneth, let the earth re* 
joice ! ** 

On the envelope was scribbled in another hand-writing, 
doubtless her husband's, the words: 

The meeting on Mousehold Heath is over — all quiet. It is all 
humbug. One delegate to London to-night or to-morrow morning. 
Suppose there will be room in London to receive him ! 

The Monster Petition, embodying the six points of the 
People's Charter, viz., (i) Manhood Suffrage, (2) Annual 
Parliaments, (3) Vote by Ballot, (4) Abolition of Property 
Qualification for Members, (5) Payment of Members, and 
(6) Equal Electoral Distridls, was to be presented to the 
House of Commons on April loth. Feargus O'Connor was 
expeAed to address the multitudes at Kennington Common, 
and then the vast procession was to march to the Houses 
of Parliament. Every one knows what a fiasco it all was ; 
but at the time the wildest rumours were abroad. The Duke 
of Wellington made military preparations on an extensive 
scale, and a vast number of Londoners enrolled themselves 
as Special Constables. My Father, referring to those days, 
said: 

It happened to be my lot to be spending a short time in London 
during the memorable demonstration of the loth April, 1848. A 
good friend of mine wanted to take me to see the pidtures in the 
National Gallery. I met him by appointment — noticing the various 
preparations in the streets as I walked along, for he hsul not calcu- 
lated there was to be all that excitement, and when we got to the 



202 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

National Gallery we found it closed. But I recoiled that, still 
having a political leaning, I made my way in the evening to the 
door of the House of Commons. The Keeper of the GzWcry at 
that time was somehow connefted with the Eastern Counties, and 
making friends with him, I was conduded, without having an 
order from a Member, into the Qallerv, from which I distin&ly 
saw the great Petition rolled up on Uie floor of the House of 
Commons. 

In regard to the Eleftion of 1852 in Norwich — I still 
quote from his same speech — ^my Father said: 

I don't know whether many here recolle£l the £le6Hon of 1852, 
when a large proportion of the Liberal party determined that they 
would have two Liberals to represent them, instead of a Liberal 
and a Tory as previously. On that occasion I rode on a steady old 
horse at the head of the procession, decorated with a very gorgeous 
blue and white band, and subsequently viewed the scene in this 
hall, not piduring to myself that I should ever stand in the position 
of Member for the City. 

My Mother recolleded seeing this procession, and used 
to tell us how handsome she thought my Father looked, 
adorned with his blue and white sash — ^^ which would have 
much astonished and disturbed the Royal Commissioners 
of the present time" (viz., 1880), he said, alluding to it 
in one of his later speeches. The Eledion resulted in the 
return of the two Liberals, Mr. S. Morton Peto and Mr. 
Edward Warner, over their opponents, the Marquis of 
Douro and Colonel Dickson, though two years later Mr. 
Peto accepted the Chiltern Hundreds, in consequence of 
his firm's having undertaken some work for the Govern- 
ment, and at the subsequent Bye-Eledion, Sir Samuel Big- 
nold was eleded, and held the seat till 1857. 

This was the General EleAion of 1857, when Lord 
Palmefston dissolved Parliament, having been defeated on 
a Resolution proposed by Mr. Cobden, condemning the 
policy of the Government in regard to af&irs in China. He 
came back to power, however, and in Norwich the two 
Whig candidates. Viscount Bury, and Mr. H. W. Schneider, 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 203 

defeated the Tory candidate, Sir Samuel Bignold. My 
Father supported the Whig candidates at their meetings, 
though not altogether in sjrmpathy with them. They were 
not advanced enough in their views for him, and by the 
following year, at any rate, he was speaking of himself as 
one of the *^ Independent Liberals." Continuinc; his remin- 
iscences, he said, referring to the 'fifties and 'sixties : 

At that time we had not a Norwich Parliament, or a daily paper, 
or some of our speeches might have been handed down to the 
present day ; but in the room over the porch of thb Hall [St. 
Andrew^s Hall] some of* us settled great questions, such as the 
Currency, "Education, the Church, Irdand, and things of that sort. 
Thus we kept the ball a-rolling, and so somehow or other I got to 
be increasingly a politician. I should like to say a word of what 
passed between 1852 and 1869. It happened to hll to my lot, 
upon many occasions, to have to communicate with our then 
Members of Parliament resolutions which had been passed at 
various meetings. I had a great deal of correspondence with the 
then Members for the City. Since then I have learned a lesson. 
I believe that in those days we made our letters very positive. We 
told our representatives not merely what we expeded them to do, 
but what they were to do. I have come rather to the conclusion 
that if it were my lot to write those letters again, I should not 
write them exaAly in the same di£btorial style used on those 
occasions. Depend upon it, that persuasion upon the whole is a 
much shorter road to gain the right end than dilation. 

This was his view after having spent twenty-one years 
himself as one of the City's Representatives. 

The "great questions," referred to in the above, were 
many and various. Prominent amongst them was Parlia- 
mentary Reform. As early as 1855, my Father referred to 
his going to a meeting with Mr. J. H. Tillett on " this 
new Retorm Movement." 

Of the Dissolution of 1857, already alluded to, he said 
he well remembered that : 

Lord Palmerston, suddenly dissolving Parliament, appealed to 
the country with the cry of *^ Palmerston for ever ! No Reform ! 



204 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

■ 

and War with China!*' The result was that Lord Pahnerston 
got a Parliamentaiy majority of eighty-five votes, but not manjr 
months afterwards his Government was turned out of office, and 
he did not return to power till after another Dissolution. 

Educating the Whig Premier in the ideals of the more 
advanced or the Liberals was a work of difficulty, but the 
Reform agitation was kept alive for years by the many 
throughout the country who keenly supported it. The 
Reform AA of 1832 had admitted the middle classes to 
the suf&age. The working classes still remained outside, 
and it was on their behalf that the agitation was carried on. 
My Father, who had already been adive in getting up 
petitions in favour of the Ballot, early in 1858 made his 
first speech in St. Andrew's Hall on the question of Reform. 
He urged the need of a wider sufirage, the advisability of 
accepting all they could get, even ir not all they wished 
for, and the necessity of^accompanying any reform with 
the Ballot : 

It is of no use having votes if we cannot exercise them fairly 
and freely, without intimidation ; therefore, the Ballot we must, 
and the Ballot we will have. 

A year later another great meeting was held in the same 
hall, at which my .Father moved the chief resolution : 

All the leading statesmen of this country having in successive 
administrations pledged themselves to a measure of Parliamentary 
Reform, and session after session having passed, leaving these 
promises unredeemed, the time has come when any further delay 
would exhaust the patience of the people, lower the chara£i)er of 
our legislators, and destroy confidence in public men. 

The resolution clearly shows that strong feelings had 
been aroused, and in Norwich, as elsewhere, there was con- 
siderable fridion between the Whigs and the more Radical 
seftion. On February 7th, 1 8 59, sonie of the more advanced 
Liberals formed themselves into a "Committee of Independ- 
ent Reformers," including my Father, who was its Chair- 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 205 

man, Messrs. J. H. TiUett, John Copenuui, Junr., Thomas 
Hanner, Josiah Fletcher, J. W. Dowson, Thomas Jarrold, 
J. D. Smith, the Rev. J. Crompton, the Rev. George 
Gould, and others. The next month they passed a resolu- 
tion: 

That the Ministerial Reform Bill is an insult to the intelligence 
of the nation, and utterly unworthy of the support of any who 
profess to be Reformers. 

This was the Bill, denounced by Mr. Bright for its 
*^ fancy franchises," and for failing to include the working 
classes. It had been introduced on February 28th, 1859, 
by Mr. Disraeli, as a Government measure, during the 
short administration of Lord Derby between 1858 and 1 859 
— he having become Premier after Lord Palmerston's defeat 
on the Conspiracy Bill and consequent resignation. The 
Bill followed dose on the rousing agitation carried on in 
the country, with John Bright as its moving spirit. Lord 
John Russell opposed the Bill, and moved an Amendment 
on behalf of a wider extension of the suffrage, which was 
carried by 330 to 29 1 . Lord Derby in consequence decided 
to appeal to the country. The result of the General Eleftion 
was liiat the Tories came back in a minority, the Govern- 
ment was defeated on an Amendment to the Address, and 
Lord Derby resigned. After an unsuccessful attempt by 
Lord Granville to form a Ministry, the Queen sent for 
Lord Palmerston, who became once again Premier, remain- 
ing in office until his death in 1865. My Father had ex- 
pressed himself on Disraeli's BiU with no uncertain voice: 

I say it is a sham, and displajrs an audacity of which I did not 
think the Government was capable. . . . reople are timid, and 
say that by admitting working men, property will be destroyed, and 
they talk of the rights of property, but it has its dutiis as well. . . . 
We want no revolution. We don't even want to destroy the 
British Constitution. Let it live and grow — ^but let it txpandy too. 
• • • We talk louldly enough about France, and how public opinion 



2o6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

is kept down, but think not that four-fifths of our own countrymen 
are kept back from political power. 

The news of Lord Derby's intention to dissolve Parlia- 
ment had been received during a committee meeting of the 
Independent Reformers, when they promptly resolved: 

That a Special Appeal be made to the Working Classes, in 
whose behalf the battle of Reform is now to be fought, that an 
Address to the Citizens be prepared, and that a public meeting be 
held as soon as possible, specially to promote the Organization of 
the Unenfranchised, in anticipation of the impending contest. 

Of the new Palmerstonian Administration, my Father 
wrote in June, 1859: 

I do not see how we can refuse to support the present Govern- 
ment. We must presume that such men as Milner-Gibson, and 
Gilpin would not accept office unless they were satisfied that Lord 
Palmerston and Lord John were disposed to give a good measure 
of Reform. . . . The appointment which perhaps Reformers 
would mostobjed to is Mr. Gladstone's, but since our party mainly 
consists of business men, I think we must waive objeftion, and be 
glad to have him at his present post [Chancellor of the Exchequer], 
and hope his position may induce in him a more liberal tone. 

Of his skill as a financier Mr. Gladstone had already 
given ample proof. The " more liberal tone " was yet a 
thing of the future. 

My Father had no great love for Lord Palmerston. He 
found it difficult to believe, so he wrote three years later, 
they would get rid of the " deadlock and extravagance " as 
long as he was at the head of af&irs. Lord Palmerston 
had not been installed in office more than a year, before it 
became fairly obvious that there was not much help to be 
expefted from him in the matter of Reform. The Reform- 
ers in Norwich, however, endeavoured to keep the question 
to the front, and in the spring of i860 a Common Hall 
was convened in St. Andrews Hall for considering the 
question. In seconding the principal resolution, my Father 
said: 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE ' 207 

I give very litde credit to these noble lords who at their Michael- 
inas meetings are for ever saying nice things to their peasantry, 
and then say ail sorts of hard things of them in the Houses of 
Parliament ... A few years ago, as you well remember, a storm 
sivept over the continent of Europe, and empires fell, and thrones 
fell, and despotisms fell. ... If there should be such another 
storm, I for one should still have faith in this country, if her in- 
stitutions are placed, not on the narrow foundations of peers and 
noblemen, but on a grand foundation embracing the whole people, 
the middle class with its enterprise, and the working classes with 
their strong determination, and sound common sense. 

And at a meeting early in 1 867, on what was called ^'The 
National Crisis,'' when the country was again being roused 
by a Reform campaign, he said further: 

It is said that if Reform were carried out, and if we were to 
admit a large number of workmen to the franchise, all the relations 
of this country would be altered, that capital would be swamped, 
and that labour would carry everything before it. Be that as it 
may, it is a matter to be left for the future. There is no one who 
could venture to say that I am uninterested in the question, or that 
I came here to-night without feeling that at all events a question 
between capital and labour had arisen, but whatever it is, I am 
prepared to face it, because I believe that workmen have been for a 
long time kept out of the franchise, and that the time has come 
when they should be admitted to it fully, frankly, and feirly. 

There had been one or two abortive Bills, but the feeling 
in favour of Reform had been growing. Above all, " the 
more liberal tone " had shown itself in Mr. Gladstone. The 
historic remark of his, on the Bill of 1 866, had been made: 

You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side. 

The strength of popular feeling forced the solution of 
the question on the Conservative Government of Lord 
Derby, who became Premier in June, 1866 — ^succeeding to 
the short-lived regime of Lord John Russell (by that time 
Earl Russell), who followed Lord Palmerston in office, after 
his death in 1865* After some unsuccessful attempts, a 



2o8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Bill was introduced by Mr. Disraeli in the Spring of 1867, 
which, after being gready altered and liberalized by the 
adoption of suggestions from Mr. Gladstone and others, 
received the Rojral Assent on August 15th, 1867. This 
^' leap in the dark/' as Lord Derby designated it, admitted 
not rar short of a million eledors to the franchise in Eng- 
land and Wales alone (Scotland and Ireland being settled 
by Bills passed the following year), and decided the question 
for a further period of seventeen years. 

It is well for those who accept their suffrages now as a 
matter of course, to remember that this measure was only 
entered on the Statute Book after a long and strenuous 
struggle, led by those who, having votes already, were 
themselves disinterested ; and in that struggle Norwich 
Reformers were not backward in taking their share. 

To those who have followed my Father's views so far, 
it wiU be no surprise to hear that his sympathies went out, 
as did those of so many English people, towards the Liberal 
movement in Hungary, associated with the name of Louis 
Kossuth. Moreover there was a personal link. When my 
Grandfather was ill, in 1854, he underwent a system of 
massage, the treatment being carried out by a Hungarian 
exile, said to be of noble birth, who had taken part in the 
Insurrection of 1848. When Austria, the following year, 
by the help of Russia, had quelled the Army raised by 
Kossuth to free his country from the Austrian rule, he fled 
to England. It was through this Hungarian that my Father 
came into personal touch with Kossuth — " the poor exile," 
as he termed him. At their occasional meetings they must 
have discussed politics, the Hungarian's account, in a letter 
to my Father, being that "Governor Kossuth expressed 
himself highly upon your sound judgment in political 
matters." 

In 1855 my Father offered Kossuth the use of his house 
in Lowestoft for a time, for which the latter expressed his 
gratitude, though unable to avail himself of it. An attempt 



^EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 209 

was made in 1856 to get him to lefture in Norwich, and 
my Father was one of a committee appointed to cany out 
the arrangements, but the plan fell through. My Grand- 
mother always retained her interest in him: 

Poor Kossuth, with his refugees, arc so identified with a very 
sorrowful part of my life, and yours also, that I cling to the history 
of Hungary as connected with it. 

So she wrote to my Father in 1880, after receiving a 
book about that country. And again, at the time of his 
death in 1894, she wrote to her son : 

Kossuth is gone — almost diar Kossuth from so painful associa- 
tion. ... I have been watching the daily accounts, and have never 
lost my interest in him. Such noble and sufiering patriotism one 
would like to see rewarded. 

The cause of Italian unity and liberty too, appealed to my 
Father, and when Garibaldi was in Englancl, the hero of 
the hour, my Father had a good deal to do with an invita- 
tion that went from Norwich, asking him to visit the City 
in 1864, and said he ^^ would esteem it a high honour if the 
General, and any friends that may accompany him," would 
stay at Carrow House during the visit. Negotiations were, 
however, broken olF by the mysteriously sudden disappear- 
ance of Garibaldi from England, the cause of his departure, 
and the possible interference by foreign governments, being 
the source of much conjefture at the time. 

In a speech delivered in 18 93, when taking the Chair for 
a ledure on Nonconformity by the Rev. R. F. Horton, my 
Father alluded to the position of Nonconformity dien, 
compared with half-a-century earlier: 

I am inclined to think that in these days some of the younger 
Nonconformists hardly know how far Nonconformity has advanced. 

He went on to point out that, fifty years ago, penalties, 
" sometimes very serious ones," were inflicfled for the non- 
payment of Church Rates, that the Burial Laws were framed 



2IO JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

• 

without any regard for the feelings of Dissenters^ and the 
Universities were still closed to them. The speech must 
have recalled lengthy and arduous fights on those and 
similar questions, in which he had taken his share, some- 
times as one of the Committee of Independent Reformers 
(which by no means confined itself to the question of 
Parliamentary Reform), sometimes through his connexion 
with the Liberation Society, which, founded in 1844, 
changed its first title, in 1853, to "The Society for the 
Liberation of Religion from State Patronage and ControL" 
My Father's interest in this last subjeft dated from early 
times, an entry in his Diary, when he was only nineteen, 
indicating not only his views, but the way in which he felt 
the controversy ought to be conduced. The reference is 
to ** An Essay on the Union of Church and State," pub- 
lished by the Rev. the Hon. Baptist W. Noel in 1848, 
very soon after he seceded from the Church of England, 
and joined the Baptists: 

1849, March 3. Finished reading Baptist Noel's Essay, in which 
I have been intensely interested. It is indeed a memorable era in 
the State-Church controversy, when such a book appears, and from 
such a man. It contains all the arguments of the Nonconformists 
in all their strength, and to their fullest extent. In addition to, 
and beyond this, there is such a spirit of brotherly kindness and 
Chnstian charity that it is enough to disarm criticism. 

My Father's interest in the Liberation Society dated 
certainly from 1858, if not earlier, his friendship with Mr. 
Edward Miall, M.P., one of the leading spirits of the 
movement, being perhaps pardy the cause and pardy the 
efFeft. He was on its committee for some time, and used 
to attend its conferences, but retired from the former in 
1875. Later on, though still retaining strongly the prin- 
ciples it upheld, he became less in sympathy with its mode 
or aAion, feeling that it was apt to be " out of season," as 
well as '^ in season," and distrusting its growing habit of 
extraAing pledges from Parliamentary candidates, a habit 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 211 

not confined to this society, and one on which he held 
strong opinions. 

His views on a State Church were embodied in a speech 
in 1858 at a meeting of the Liberation Society. Referring 
to the alteration from its original name, ^^ The Anti-State 
Church Association/' my Father said : 

Its friends deny that they ought to be called anti any Church 
whatever, as their obje£t is not to oppose any Church, as such, but 
simply, as the friends of religion, and above all of religious freedom, 
to proclaim their conviction that all relieion ought to be, for its 
own sake, free from patronage and control It is said on very good 
authority, ^^ No man can serve two masters," and it is equally true 
that no Church can serve two masters ; and if any Church endeavours 
to serve its Heavenly Master and also a State that pays it, it makes 
a very great mistake. 

The Church Rate controversy was anothei' one in which 
my Father took a share. The agitation was no new one. 
It had broken out as early as 1834, and strong^ protests 
had been raised in some or the northern industrial centres 
against the levyinc^ of a rate for Church of England pur- 
poses on persons irrespeftive of their religious views. It 
was felt to be an anomaly and an injustice that a Church, 
possessing all the tithe and endowment of an Establishment, 
should have the right to levy this rate on Nonconformists, 
many of whom had to support their own Voluntary 
Churches, for which they asked nothing from the State. 
Those who felt strongly on the question of religious liberty 
and equality were roused. Many refused to pay the rate 
when levied, and had their goods seized in default, or went 
to prison. The movement continued to grow, helped by 
the fad that an increasing number of Nonconformists found 
their way into the House of Commons, and Motions on 
the subjeft were frequendy before the House. 

My Father, zealous for the cause, threw himself into the 
controversy, and in 1858 he and Mr. John Copeman were 
instrumental in getting up a meeting of "Friends of 



212: JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Religious Liberty " to arrange for petitioning the House 
of Lords in favour of the Bill brought in by Sir John 
Trdawney for the Abolition of Church Rates, which had 
passed the House of G)nunons. He worked hard in getting 
petitions signed, but the Bill was rejeded by 187 votes to 
36, though he felt that this treatment of it by the Lords 
had ^^ probably done the cause more good tiian harm." 
Various more or less unsatisfeaory compromises were sug- 
gested. On one of these — a Government Bill submitted 
to the House of Commons during Lord Derby's administra- 
tion by Mr. Walpole, on February 2 ist, 1859 — ^7 Father's 
views were emphatic. The following day he wrote: 

I have just taken a very hasty glance at the Church Rate Debate. 
I suppose we have no right to be disappointed. I am not, at all 
events, for I expected nothing, which, I take it, is just what we 
have got. I see some of our friends in the House seem to give an 
^^ uncertain sound," and appear willing to accept the Government 
Measure. I am open to convidion, and if you can show me how 
the proposed Bill is to work I shall be glad : but my present feeling 
is to let the Government and the Country know at once that such 
a measure (begging the whole question) won't do, and I hope our 
Society [the Liberation Society] will speak out. The Landlord [a 
few words illegible here] won't pay it from his own pocket, but 
will get it ^(and with an increase, too,) from his Nonconformist 
Tenant, so what is now an uncertain tax will be made a fixed and 
a perpetual one. 

Refleftion doubtless only confirmed his views, for eight 
days later, at a Committee of the Independent Reformers, 
when he was in the Chair, a resolution was passed con- 
demning it as ^^ a complicated, compromising, and unsatis* 
fadory measure,'' and urging the support of Sir John 
Trelawney's Bill, "which proposes the entire extin&ion of 
Church Rates as the only possible setdement of the long 
controverted and irritating question." 

Two years later a Conference on the subject for Non- 
conformists in Norfolk was convened by my Father and 
others, and held in Norwich on February 6th, 1861. But 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE .213 

the end of the controversy was not yet. It was not until 
1 868 that Mr. Gladstone, who two rears earlier had for the 
first time voted for the Abolition of Church Rates, brought 
in the Compulsory Church Rate Abolition Bill. The Con- 
servative Government did not oppose, and it was passed 
the same year, and by enading that no legal proceedings 
could be instituted against any person for the non-payment 
of the Rate, turned what had been an obligatory rate into 
a voluntary one. 

Another sharp battle raged round the Census Bill of 
i860. This Bill, a Government measure brought in under 
the Whig Administration of Lord Palmerston, related to 
the Census to be taken the following year. It contained a 
new provision that every householder, in addition to the 
ordinary information required, was to make a declaration 
of his own religious profession, and that of all other inmates 
of his house. When first introduced, this clause was made 
still more obje6Uonable by imposing a fine in default of the 
information. A strong protest was immediately raised. It 
was contended that the question was inquisitorial, and such 
as no State had a right to ask, that it would lead, to in- 
timidation, and that the returns would be misleading, and 
therefore dangerous, as they would probably be made the 
basis of future legislation. My Father, in conjun<%on with 
Mr. Josiah Fletcher, Mr. Frederic Pigg, and Mr. John 
Copeman, issued a circular announcing that a meeting 
woidd be held on the subjed, to urge people to sign the 
petitions against the Bill which ultimately poured into the 
House of Commons. The protest was successful. Mr. 
John Bright had taken a leading share in the opposition, 
and the Government felt the strength of feeling which had 
been aroused. When the Bill went into Committee, Mr. 
Edward Baines moved an Amendment, but the clause was 
withdrawn without a division. 

Another proloi^ed controversy centred round the ques- 
tion of allowing Nonconformists to be buried in Parish 



a 14 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Graveyards with funeral services conduced by their own 
Ministers, instead of having them conduced according to 
the forms of the Church of England. A Bill to legalise this 
was drawn up by Sir Morton Peto in 1 86 1, and my Father 
endeavoured to get petitions signed in support of the 
measure. It was a long time, however, before the move- 
ment was successful, and Nonconformists had to wait for 
the removal of this disability until 1880, when an Ad to 
amend the Burial Laws was passed under Mr. Gladstone's 
Government. 

One subjedfc of special interest to Nonconformists was 
the Abolition of University Tests. By Ads, passed in 1 8 54 
for Oxford, and 1856 for Cambridge, Nonconformists had 
indeed been admitted as students to the Universities. This, 
however, was under disabilities (rather heavier in the case 
of Oxford than of Gunbridge), and with hardly an exception 
the emoluments of the Universities, and of individual G>1- 
leges, were still confined to those who were members of 
the Church of England by convidion, or those who would 
lightly sign their names to anything and everjrthing — and 
when ways and means depended on it, the temptation to 
do so must have been very strong. 

In 1 86 1 my Father spoke on the subjed at a Conference 
in Norwich, and reminded his hearers of two Nonconform- 
ists who had, in successive years, been Senior Wranglers 
at Cambridge, but were unable to hold Fellowships because 
their religious convidions did not allow them to sign the 
Thirty-^flne Articles. The next year he seems to have been 
instrumental in getting up a meeting on the subjed in 
Norwich, and seconded the motion that it was desirable that 
a ^^comprehensive measure finally to settle this question 
should be introduced." 

The following notes, made by him for a speech, refer to 
one of the Motions before the House of Commons on 
Clerical Fellowships: 

Now let it be clearly understood we don't ask to exclude the 



EARLY POLITICAL LIFE 215 

Clergy, but we simply ask that they should not, because of their 
profession, be exalted to exceptional privileges. The Universities 
are, by their local Examinations, and courses of Le6hires in our 
large towns, doing [? much] to meet the wants of the day. They 
have opened their doors to Nonconformist Students, who have not 
feared the competition. Incalculable good has thus been done, and 
believing as I do that Clerical Headships and Fellowships can be 
no source of strength, but rather of weakness and evil, I support 
the Motion. 

In 1871 the University Test Abolition Bill, a Govern- 
ment measure by that time, was passed during Mr. Glad- 
stone's Premiership. This was Further liberalized by an 
Adt of 1882, so that, subjeft to some few exceptions, the 

Erinciple was sanftioned by the Legislature of making the 
Jniversities free and unrestriAed by sedarian tests. 
It is little wonder, in looking back at the struggles of 
all those years, my Father should feel that at least they had 
taught a lesson of patience. So, at a meeting held to cele- 
brate the Tercentenary of the death of the Congregationalist 
Martyrs, Henry Barrowe, John Greenwood, and John 
Penry, who were hanged in 1593, he told his hearers: 

Some people fancy not merely that an A&. of Parliament is to do 
everything, but that the moment notice is given of an A& of 
Parliament, or a Resolution carried at some political assembly, 
thereupon everything is settled and carried at railway speed — thejiace 
at which we live in these days. Our forefathers did not obtain their 
liberties in that way, and we as Englishmen have to learn a little 
patience, and feel that if the pace is not quite so fiist as we should 
like, we must be patient and not be discouraged, but adhere to our 
opinions, through evil report and through good report. 



CHAPTER XIV 

NORWICH POLITICS 
1859 187I: AGED 28 40 

BEFORE taking up again the story of Norwich Elec- 
tions, it must be mentioned that in April 1859, on 
the eve of the General Eleftion, my Father received a 
Requisition asking him to stand for what was irreverently 
described by one of his friends as the " petty little Borough 
of Thetford." This ancient Borough had then only 218 
voters on its Register, but since the time of Edward VI it 
had returned two Members to Parliament, and its privi- 
leges were as yet untouched by Reform Ads. A few years 
hence its glory was to depart, for by the Reform Aft of 
1867 it lost one Member, and the following year (by the 
Aft dealing mainly with Scotland) it was finally merged in 
a County Constituency. He felt obliged to decline the 
honour, his " time being too much occupied to undertake 
the duties of Parliamentary life," but he rejoiced to feel 
^^ that Thetford is prepared to speak on the great questions 
now before the country, and is determined that it will not 
be merely the snug borough of two influential families," 
and he hoped that ^^ if, during the coming Parliament, the 
Borough be wholly or in part disfranchised, its afts may 
now be on the side of liberty and progress, both in eccle- 
siastical and civil affairs." 

There was one subj eft which gready exercised my Father's 
mind at that time, as indeed it must have exercised the 
minds of all citizens, of whatever political creed, who cared 
for the honour of their City. That was the bribery and 

2X6 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 187 1 217 

corruption which charafterized the Norwich Eleftions. By 
1859 there was a growing feeling that some means must 
be taken to check it. 

In April of that year, on the eve of the Eleftion, about 
a hundred young men met in the Committee Room at St. 
Andrew's Hall to consider the best means of supporting 
the candidature of the two Liberals. The meeting was ad- 
dressed, amongst others, by my Father, Mr. Thomas Jar- 
rold, Mr. S. True, and Mr. W. H. Dakin, and during the 
meeting the following resolution was adopted: 

That the young men now present form themselves into a Vigil- 
ance Comhiittee, and agree to use their best exertions to prevent 
the pra£tice of Bribery, and the exercise of undue influence during 
the coming £le£lion, and to secure the return to Parliament of 
Lord Bury and Mr. Schneider. 

It is hardly surprising that this Vigilance G>mmittee, 
*' those Christian young men sent to prowl round the 
City," figured in the eleAioneering skits of the time. The 
return of the two candidates was secured, but to stop 
bribery in a week or two was more than any Vigilance 
Committee could accomplish. 

The EleAion had followed the defeat of Lord Derby on 
one of the many Reform Bills brought into the House of 
Commons, this one not being sufficientiy liberal to suit the 
temper of the House. He therefore dissolved Parliament, 
and the Eledtions took place in April and May of 1859. 
The two defeated Conservative Candidates in Norwich were 
Sir Samuel Bignold and Mr. C. M. Lushington. 

It is clear that during my Father's three years* residence 
in Norwich he had come increasingly to the fore in the 
political world« His name this year, at any rate, appears in 
the political literature of the day. One eleAioneering squib, 
issued in the Conservative interest, entitied "Another 
Monster Humbug, or Easter Monday in the Marketplace/' 
began: 



2i8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Of all the fine sights ever seen in this town, 
That of Monday has certainty done the rest brown : 
For of all the processions that 's passed London Street, 
That beat them all hollow, except Hoffman's Fete. 
There was Mustard and Starch from the village of Stook 
Just pop'd in to give the poor Whigs a sly look; 

and after numerous references to local lights, the verses 
ended: 

Then look out for your rights which are still to be won. 
By voting for Bignold and Charles Lushington. 

Those who have perused ele6Honeering literature will 
doubtless agree that, however fiercely the rival sides may 
have anathematized each other, they had at least this in 
common — a total disr^ard for the laws of rhyme and 
rhythm. Nor was originalty a strong point on either side, 
judging from the constant repetition of race bills and play 
bills as a basis of satire. 

Parliament met on May 31st, 1859, and continued in 
existence until July 6th, 1865. But though other places 
might be untroubled with election worries throughout 
that time, it was certainly not so in Norwich, where there 
were two Eledions, not to mention a Petition and an 
Inquiry. 

Each party accused the other of bribery, and a Petition 
was presented against the return of the Liberal Members. 
In those days Ele(ftion Petitions were inquired into by a 
Committee of the House of Commons. But before the 
Committee had tried the case. Lord Bury had again to seek 
election, for, as Lord Derby was defeated on an Amend- 
ment to the Address and resigned. Lord Palmerston again 
became Premier, and he appointed Lord Bury ComptroUer 
of Her Majesty's Household. This necessitated his re- 
eleftion, and on June 29th, 1859, he agsin defeated Sir 
Samuel Bignold, a second Conservative Candidate, Colonel 
Boldero, receiving hardly any support 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 187 1 219 

Meanwhile the bribeiy in the City was known to be so 
flagrant that the matter was taken up by the Town Council. 
A Petition was drawn up, to be presented to the House of 
Commons by Mr. John Bright, oeginning as follows: 

The Humble Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of 
the City of Norwich in Council assembled, sheweth — 

That it is generally and confidently asserted that at the last 
£le£Uon of Members of Parliament for this City, extensive and 
systematic bribery was praAised. 

The Petition b^ged that a Committee, or Royal Com- 
mission, should inquire into the matter, and ^^ particularly 
into the sources from which the money so corrupdy ex- 
pended was derived," and further that means should be 
adopted '^ to expose, punish, counteraft, and prevent the 
praAice of bribery at Eledions." 

The Committee of Independent Reformers promptly 
seconded the Town Council in its efforts. At a Committee 
held on June 24th, 1859, at which my Father occupied 
the Chair, a resolution was carried : 

That it is essentially necessary, in order to prevent the further 
progress of Corruption in this City, that an enquiry should be 
made, before a tribunal— armed with the fullest powers which 
Parliament can confer — into the gross bribery practised at the late 
Eledion for this City. That this Committee entirely approves of 
the Petition adopted by the Council with this view, and rejoices 
that it has been entrusted to that able and uncomproniising Re- 
former, Mr. Bright, the Member for Birmingham. That a Sub- 
Committee be appointed to prepare a statement of fads for the in- 
formation of Mr. Bright, and other Members of Parliament, and 
to justify the motion for an enquiry. 

My Father was one of this Sub-Committee (the others 
being Messrs. J. H. Tillett, John Copeman, C. Darkins, 
J. W. Dowson, and the Rev. J. Crompton), and also one 
of a Deputation, appointed at a subsequent Committee, 
** to proceed to London to communicate with the Govern- 



220 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

ment on the subjed of the proposed enquiry, and to urge 
the importance of a thorough investigation' 

The Petition of the Town Council to the House of 
G)mmons failed, however, in its objed, mainly through 
technicalities. In July the Selecft Committee met to inquire 
into the Petition from " Certain Eleftors of the City of 
Norwich " against the return of the two Liberal Members, 
Lord Bury and Mr. Schneider, and reported that, as bribery 
had been committed by agents of theirs, they were not duly 
deAed. Had the Committee reported the prevalence of 
extensive corruption, a Commission of Inquiry would have 
followed almost as a matter of course, but in the absence 
of this it was difficult for the House of Commons to take 
action, as a special AA of Parliament would have been 
needed. In a letter from Mr. Bright to my Father, dated 
August 7th, 1859, explaining the position, he said: 

I have consulted the Speaker and his Counsel, and more than 
one experienced Member of the House, and I regret very much to 
be driven to the conclusion that the opportunity for doing any- 
thing effedtive is gone by. I hope the writ will not be issued be- 
fore next Session — ^to give the Constituency time to consider how 
much they have disgraced themselves before the Country. 

It was time it should do something to reinstate itself in 
popular opinion when a school-boy or the day, asked by an 
Examiner what Norwich was famous for, promptly replied, 
" For Bribery and Corruption, Sir." 

My Father must have been deeply disappointed at the 
failure of the Town Council's Petition. A few days before 
receiving Mr. Bright's letter, just quoted, he had written 
to his sister : 

I am compelled to go to London about this troubl#ome Eledion 
business. ... As regards the Election there is nothing fresh— our 
efforts now are directed to pushing on the Petition for an ^ In- 
quiry," which some are making an efibrt to throw over. 

The Petition from the Town Council had failed in its 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859—1871 221 

obje<5^ but the subjed of bribery was destined within 
another three months to be again brought very forcibly 
before the Norwich citizens. 

In November of the same year, 1859, just after my 
Father was first elected a Councillor, a dramatic incident 
occurred in the Town Council. The EledHon of Aldermen 
was the exciting cause, the ascendancy of either party de- 
pending on the result, and the Whigs and Tories being so 
evenly balanced that one vote might decide it. The excite- 
ment was intense when one of the Councillors entered the 
CouncU Chamber, and, declaring he had been offered j£500 
to vote for the eight Tory Aldermen, handed to the Mayor 
the halves of three bank notes of j^ 100 each, which he 
allied he had received as part of the payment. There was 
great excitement over the case, one of the least satisfaAory 
Features about it being the relu6tance of some of those 
whose names were freely mixed up in it to allow the matter 
to be probed to the bottom. The agitation was by no means 
confined to the City itself. A London paper grew indignant 
over the attempt to ^^ hush up the flagrant case of muni- 
cipal bribery recently disclosed at Norwich." My Father 
was deeply stirred, and spoke in no measured terms on the 
subjed before the Town Council: 

You will excuse a Sunday letter on such a question as the present, 
[he wrote in reference to this Council meeting.]. ... I have not 
much hope that we shall succeed on Tuesday, but at all events we 
shall have the satis&dion of having done our duty, and tried to stop 
this fearful corruption. 

The prophecy was a true one. The Town Council had 
taken steps, and brought the case before the Magistrates 
r— only, however, to be adjourned by them — ^but after its 
first virtuous desire to prosecute and get at the truth, the 
Councillors determined by a majority of 28 to 19 to pro- 
ceed no further; My Father of course voted in the 
minority. His speech, the first one he delivered in the 



222 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Town Council, when seconding an Amendment to the 
Resolution on the subjeft, revealed strong feelings: 

I challenge anv man to say that I do not stand here with clean 
hands, as perfedlv unimpeachable as any man in this room. I call 
upon you if you oelieve bribery to be a good, honourable, and use- 
ful weapon of political warfare, to say so; but if you believe it to 
be, as I do, a vile, an atrocious, and an infernal thing — for no other 
word can express it — to let this enquiry go on. Let men see that 
there is a law for all, and that if any other case were brought be^ 
fore this Council as this case has been, it should be thoroughly in- 
vestigated, no matter from what party it came. 

He pleaded for a full investigation, so that the accused, 
no matter whether of high station or low might ^^ stand at 
the bar of their country, so that, if innocent, they may take 
their places again in our midst, free from taint or suspicion," 
or " if guilty they may receive the punishment they have 
incurred." 

He called on his Fellow Councillors "as you value 
English freedom, as you would have the esteem of a good 
conscience, as you would secure the permanent and lasting 
peace and welfare of this City, to do your duty manfully 
and honestly." 

Though foiled in the Council Chamber, there were 
citizens ready to guarantee a fund to sustain a further pro- 
secution, and a Committee, of which my Father was Chair- 
man, was appointed to take the management of the case. 
They petitioned the Government through the Home Secre- 
tary, hoping the case might be taken up by the Attorney- 
General, or that a Commission might be appointed to in- 
quire generally into the corruption at Norwich EleAions, 
both Parliamentary and Municipal. This . attempt, how- 
ever, failed, and technical difficulties in the way of a pro- 
secution under the state of the law at that time, obliged 
them to give up the matter. The Report of the Committee, 
signed by my Father, April 19th, i860, stated that; 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 1871 223 

Your Committee regret that they have not been more successful 
in their endeavours to secure the ends of justice; but at the same 
time thev feel convinced that what they have already done has 
been usenil in checking the bribery which has so long disgraced 
this City. The formation of a guarantee fund, which would suffice 
for further legal proceedings, if found advisable, has shown that 
there is a determination amongst an influential body of citizens 
not to allow any compromise with a view of screening the of- 
fenders. . • • 

A useful lesson has been taught, and one which will not readily 
be forgotten, and it is earnestly hoped that none will be henceforth 
foolish, or criminal, enough to disgrace this City by any systematic 
a£t of bribery. Should such an attempt be made, by whomsoever 
or whatsoever party, your Committee trust that men of all shades 
of politics will be prepared to Join them in a prosecution. They 
would, however, express a confident hope that the days of bribery 
in Norwich are past. They trust that the recent Parliamentary 
Election may be taken as an earnest of the future, and that none 
will again attempt to bring down upon our City the curse which 
has for so many years rested upon it. 

The " recent Parliamentary Eleftion," here alluded to, 
was the one which took place in 1 860. It has already been 
stated that the two Libends, Lord Bury and Mr. Schneider, 
were unseated the previous year on petition. The subse- 
quent eledfcion of Lord Bury, after being made Comptroller 
of the Household, was also declared void by the Committee 
of the House of Commons, early in 1 860, and the Writ for 
another eledHon to fill the two vacancies was agreed to by 
the House on March 23rd, i860. The Liberal Candidates 
were Sir William Russell and Mr. Edward Warner, and 
the Conservative ones, Mr. W. D. Lewis, Q.C., and Mr. 
W. Forlonge. My Father, in conjundion with Mr. Joseph 
Massingham and Mr. Frederic Pigg> issued a circular about 
the state of corruption soon after the Writ had been issued, 
in which they said: 

The discussion in the House of Commons on Friday, upon the 
question of issuing the Writ for this City, cannot be perused by 
any right-minded citizen of Norwich without a feeling of shame. 



224 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Surely the religious men among the Eleftors ought to endeavour 
to remove the disgrace which lies upon us. With a view to an 
energetic e£R>rt in this direction, you are urgently requested to 
attend a private meeting to-morrow. 

The EleAion was held on March 29th, and the two 
Liberals were returned by a substantial majority. 

After this, Norwich had a respite for nve years. The 
next contest was the General £le(%ion of 1865. The two 
Liberal Members, for whom my Father worked during the 
contest, again sought eleftion. Their Conservative oppon- 
ents were two strangers to the City. Considerable load ex- 
citement was brought into the fray by certain charges against 
one of the latter, charges which, it was alleged, had obliged 
him to retire from the Reform Club, of which he had been 
a member. The Conservatives challenged investigation; 
hurried visits to London were arranged; the Liberals proved 
their points, and many of the Conservatives withdrew their 
support. He determined to go to the Poll, however, but 
the result of the Eleftion was that both Liberals were re- 
turned. 

Before Parliament met again Lord Palmerston was dead. 
He was succeeded by Lord Russell, who resigned in 1866, 
and Lord Derby came into office until February 1868, 
when his place was taken by Mr. Disraeli. But a defeat of 
the Grovernment on Resolutions moved by Mr. Gladstone 
in favour of the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, 
hastened on a Dissolution, and the General EledHon took 
place late that year. This EleAion, resulting in the return 
of the Liberals by a large majority, was of special importance. 
It was the first one since the passing of the second Reform 
Aft in 1 867. In Norwich this meant a rise in the deftorate 
from about 5,600 to about 13,300. 

My Father was in the thick of all the Norwich eledtion 
worries, which centred round the choice of candidates in 
the Liberal interest. The chances of a split were great — 
the Whigs wishing to run both candidates, and the Radicals 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 1871 225 

claiming the right to nominate one of them. It was the 
first time that most of the working men — many of them 
advanced in their views, and keen admirers of Mr. J. H. 
Tillett — had had votes, and they naturally wished to have 
a say in the important question of candidates. My Father 
was identified with the Radical sedHon, but was most anxious 
to avoid a split. He felt they ought to show " a firm, but 
very peaceable front," and do nothing which would lead 
the more excitable of the Whigs to " urge the others to a 
course they would not find it easy to recede from." He 
wished each seAion to choose its own nominee by " a free 
selection, but not didbition on either side," ana then he 
hoped both candidates would run together. 

He was mentioned, and that curiously enough by the 
Whig seAion, as a possible candidate, but diis was altogether 
contrary to his wishes. A letter from his fiither-in-law, 
containing the remark, " Your name has been so long before 
the public with regard to the representation of Norwich," 
implies it was not the first time the suggestion had been 
made. But three considerations made him unhesitatingly 
disclaim any intention of coming forward. 

First: His engagements, he said, made it almost im- 
possible, so that only " sheer necessity, and the most impera- 
tive feeling of duty could induce " him to do so. 

Second : He would not take any position which might 
seem to supersede Mr. Tillett, with whom, he said, "I 
have always afted in the closest confidence of friendship, 
and whose political principles are similar to my own." 

Third : He did not wish to do anything which might 
seem like didbiting to the ele&ors, and prevent their tree 
expression of opimon in the choice of a candidate. 

Matters advanced a stage when Mr. Tillett was formally 
adopted as the Radical candidate at a meeting of working 
men. But the distrust of the Whigs, about the advanced 
opinions which he was credited with holding, was difficult 
to get over. It was small wonder that an uncle should 

Q 



126 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

commiserate with my Father on his ^'peck of political 
troubles." The stormy atmosphere, however, cleared in 
time. A meeting; of middle class dehors confirmed the 
choice of Mr. Tdlett, and finally, at a large meeting held 
in St. Andrew*s Hall, both cancHdates were adoptea — Sir 
William Russell as the nominee of the Whigs, and Mr. 
Tillett of the Radicals. 

The nomination took place on November i6th, 1868, 
my Father nominating Mr. Tillett Sir Henry J. Stracey, 
Bart., was the G>nservative candidate. 

One of the souvenirs of that Election, preserved by my 
Father, was a flint — a stone of considerable size — thrown 
at a meeting at the Lamb Inn in the Fourth Ward. A 
number of roughs, at a given signal, had left the room, and 
as soon as he proceeded to take the Chair, they threw 
several large stones violendy through the windows, injuring 
one man, and smashing a mirror on the other side of the 
room. 

The Eledion placed the Q>nservative at the top of the 
poll, with Sir William Russell as his colleague. 

Sir H. J. Straccy (&)n.) 4>52i 

Sir William Russcdl (Lib.) 49509 
Mr. J. H. Tillett (Lib.) 4,364 

The aftermath to that ElecStion was a Petition, followed 
by a Royal Commission. 

Under the new Ad: of 1 868, EleAion Petitions were tried 
by Judges, and Norwich was one of the early cases tried in 
this way. The Petition was against the return of Sir Henry 
Stracey, on the ground of the number of " bribed, treated, 
and unduly influenced votes," and was tried before Baron 
Martin at the Shirehall, in January 1869. The Judge did 
not hesitate to give a strong warning to all political parties 
in Norwich: 

There are several matters that have occurred that I do hope the 
respedlable people in Norwich, on both sides, will take into their 
consideration before there is another £le<^ion — if, indeed, there 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859—1871 227 

ever be another Eledion in Norwich — ^that th^ will endeavour to 
stop such proceedings, which are not merely a disgrace to Norwich, 
but a disgrace to the whole kingdom. ... At the middle of the 
day of polling, Sir William Russell and Mr. Tillett, the Liberal 
Candidates, had a considerable majority, and there is no reason to 
believe that up to this time any corrupt vote had been given on 
either side; but from thence until the close of the poll I believe 
that bribery was extensively committed in order to procure the 
Election or Sir Henry Josias Stracey. So far as the evidence went, 
the voters who were bribed were of one class, viz., workmen, or 
labourers for daily wages. These people did not go to work that 
day, but coUeded in considerable numbers in and about public 
houses and beershops, and there waited to be bribed. ... A number 
of these voters went to the poll in a gross state of drunkenness, 
some of them so drunk as not to know for whom they came to 
vote; and I have no doubt that a very considerable number of 
bribed voters gave their votes between 2 and 4 o'clock on the day 
of polling. 

This was clearly not a report for Norwich to be proud 
of, but inasmuch as the Judge further reported that from 
various causes he was unable to state the number of bribed 
voters, or who the bribers were (with one or two excep- 
tions), or what amount of money was spent in bribery, 
or the source from which it came, there remained ob- 
viously a good deal to be cleared up. 

The Judge, while exonerating Sir Henry Stracey from 
personal knowledge of it, reported that, as bribery on his 
behalf had been proved, he was not duly eledred; and 
further reported that there was reason to believe that cor- 
rupt pradices "extensively prevailed" at the Eledion. 
The Attorney-General consequently brought in a Motion 
in the House of Conunons, praying Her Majes^ to issue 
a Commission to inquire into the existence of G^rrupt 
PradHces at Norwich. My Father was keenly anxious this 
should be well supported. The Motion was carried, and 
the Rojral Commission b^an its sittings in the Autumn of 
1869. The Commissioners were Mr. G. M. Dowdeswell, 
Q.C., Mr. Horatio Mansfield, and Mr. R. J. Biron. They 



228 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

sat for thirty-three days, and examined about fifteen hundred 
witnesses. 

My Father was one of those called into the witness box, 
and, as a large employer of labour, was closely examined 
as to any undue influence he might have exercised over his 
workpeople. 

His evidence on the point may be of interest : 

if • • • . we employ about i,ioo hands, including bojrs and a 
few women. . . • 

J^ You are a strong supporter of Mr. Tillett, arc you not ?— 
^. I es, I took an a£tive interest in his candidature. 

^ Did you in any way canvass your workmen? — jf. No, not 
in the slightest. I did not canvass them as workmen. I canvassed 
for all the parishes and the distri(3 in which they resided, but I did 
not canvass them as workmen on my premises. 

^ Did you abstain from doing so altogether? — J. I abstained 
from doing so altogether. 

j^. Did a large number of your men vote for Mr. Tillett? — ^, 
I have no doubt that they did. 

j^. Did any of them vote for Sir Henry Stracey ? — j(. I have 
no doubt that some of them did. 

J^ Have you never taken the trouble to ascertain? — A. I have 
care!ully abstained from looking into the poll book to see. 

This, it must be remembered, was before the Ballot AA, 
when it would have been easy enough to ascertsun. My 
Father, however, was keenly anxious that his Workmen — 
so many of them newly enfranchised — should always fed 
perfe(5Uy free to foUow their own convi<5kions. He made 
this abundandy clear at a meeting before the Election, held 
at the GuTOW Schoolroom: 

People outside say, "There are so many votes at Carrow.** 
Well, if there are votes at Carrow I hope they are conscientious 
votes: if they are not conscientious votes I hope they will not be 
given. I give to every man in my employ the same freedom which 
I claim myself, the freedom to exercise his political rights accord- 
ing to his conscientious convictions. 

The Commissioners, after referring to the reludance 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 187 1 229 

shown by several witnesses to speak the truth, and mention- 
ing cases of deliberate peijury, reported as follows: 

The evidence taken by us shows that for a lone time past there 
has been a considerable number of voters in Norwich open to 
corruption; and the tradition is still cherished of the high prices 
which were given for votes at former Eledions. The greater pro- 
portion of the voters added to the register hy the Statute of 1867 
consisted of the poorer class; and the fa£b disclosed before us show 
that at the last Election there was a very large number of voters 
open to be bribed or influenced by corrupt praSices. 

The number of those ** open to be bribed or influenced 
by corrupt practices" was, of course, a very uncertain 
quantity, and exa<5): figures were, on the face of it, out of 
the question. One experienced eleAioneering agent placed 
the number at i)500, or about an eighth of the eledorate. 
The Commissioners seemed to have thought "the real 
nvmiber very considerably exceeded this." Others thought 
the reverse. A certain number of persons were proved to 
have given or accepted bribes, but at the same time the 
Commissioners did not consider that corrimt pradHces had 
" extensively prevailed " at the previous Eleftion, nor at 
those of 1865 or i860. Had they done so, it is more than 
likely Norwich would have been made notorious, as Great 
Yarmouth already was, by being disfranchised. No Writ 
was issued until an Aft was passed disfranchising the 
Scheduled Voters guilty of bribery, so the Writ for another 
Ele&ion to fill the vacant place was not received until early 
in July, 1870. 

Once again there was a difference of opinion between 
the Whigs and the Radicals as to who should contest the 
vacant seat My Father supported Mr. Tillett, believing 
he had a right to stand again if he wished, especially as the 
Whig sedlion was already represented by the sitting Mem- 
ber, Sir William Russell. The Whigs put forward Mr. 
Warner once again, but he ultimately withdrew in favour 
of Mr. Tillett The place of Sir Henry Stracey, now dis- 



230 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

qualified from standing, was taken by Mr. J. W. Huddle- 
ston— afterwards Baron Huddleston. 

Under all the circumstances, the Eleftion was not likely 
to be the best tempered one imaginable. My Father, in 
giving evidence before the Eledtion Commissioners in 1 875, 
said, in reference to the use of outriders, six of whom had 
been used by the Liberals during this 1870 Eleftion, that 
he thought they were necessary then to proteA Mr. Tillett 
from the roughs. There was a rumour that the carriage 
would be upset in the Market Place, and he thought no 
doubt an attempt was made. He added that eggs and 
flour were thrown at them, and " the scene at that moment 
was very disorderly." 

Before the Eleftion, a special Friday Service was held in 
the Githedral, at which the Dean of Norwich (The Very 
Rev. E. M. Groulburn, D.D.), preached a sermon on "The 
Moral Atmosphere of a Contested Eleftion," the congr^- 
tion joining, not inappropriately, one feels, in the hymn, 
" The World is very evil." The Dean warned the citizens 
against the evils of bribery, defamation, libel, intemperance, 
perjury, and the " mother sin of all " — ^party spirit. It is 
obvious the times were felt to be seriously out of joint, and 
that the sober-minded citizens realized how much needed 
to be done to purify the public life of the City. 

The Eleftion took place on July 12 th, 1870, with the 
following result. 

Mr. J. H. TiDett (Lib.) 4,236 

Mr. J. W. Huddleston (Con.) 3,874 

There were naturally great rejoicings on the part of the 
Liberals. "We have won (under the circumstances) a 
great vidkory," was my Father's comment A procession 
took place after the Declaration of the Poll, with banners, 
which informed the citizens that " Norwich is Redeemed." 
The rejoicings were, however, short-lived. A Petition was 
presented against the return of Mr. Tillett, and tried before 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 1871 231 

Mn Justice Keating. It was proved that one of Sir William 
Russell's agents had committed an aft of bribery in the 
1868 Eledion. The Judge held that, as a coalition had al- 
ready taken place between him and Mr. Tillett, the latter 
was in point of law responsible, and consequently was dis- 
qualified from standing again in 1 870. In giving his judg- 
ment, the Judge expressed the belief that Mr. TiUett had 
been anxious ^^ to conduft all Eleftion matters in which he 
was engaged with the utmost purity, and free from any- 
thing approaching to illegality or bribery," and added, " I 
feel very great regret not only at the consequences to Mr. 
TiUett, whose intentions were so honourable and pure, but 
also that the decision has more results — the eiFeft of giving 
a sort of triumph to that abominable system which has 
sullied the reputation of this city," which, he said further, 
would ultimately disfranchise it, if the conduct of the Elec- 
tions were not taken out of the hands of some of the men 
who had been mixed up in them. 

My Mother's comment, in a letter to my Father, was: 

I have not the heart to write more than a line, for I am dread- 
fully distressed at Mr. Tillett's defeat. Still it is a moral vidory, 
as the Judge declares him and his friends to be pun. He bears up 
wonderfully. 

Mr. Tillett being disqualified from standing, my Father 
was immediately asked to contest the vacancy. Had he 
followed his personal inclinations, it is abundandy clear that 
he would have declined the honour. 

What with the necessity of attending to my business here, and 
our wretched Great Eastern trains, [he wrote to the Liberal Whip,] 
few will find more difficulty in attending the House than I shall. 

Before deciding, he sought the advice of one or two 
friends already in the House of Commons. To Mr. Edward 
MiaU he wrote: 

Will you give me a little advice, looking at the matter privately 
as well as publicly f I am pressed, as you may see, to take Tilletrs 



) 



232 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

seat, and should have a very easy fight. But that is only the begin- 
ning of the trouble. • . . 

Now, as to going and spending the Session in London, and sitting 
up night after night, I could no more do it than I could fly. Another 
thing which frightens me is the Committees on nobody knows 
what, nor for how long. Is it compulsory to serve on them, and if 
so, what time do they usually take ? 

If it were a question of being in London for testing divisions, it 
would be another matter, and I could generally manage to be up 
for a little time [? every week], though not always with comfort. 

It is altogether a question of private or public claims, and I wish 
some good Fairy would come and decide them for me. ... If this 
were the last Session of the Parliament, I would not hesitate, for I 
could stand a few months knocking about and then retire, but I do, 
and must, hesitate when the next dissolution may be postponed. 

To his friend, Henry Winterbotham, whose acqu^ntance 
he had made through his brother-in-law, Herbert Cozens- 
Hardy, and whose death in Rome, two years later, cut short 
a most promising Parliamentary career, he wrote in a similar 
strain. Mr. Winterbotham, giving all the pros and cons, 
and not minimizing the amount of work, added in his 
reply: 

Don't think I am dissuading you from coming. It is a noble 
career for any man who cares for something else than rank or 
wealth or ease. You may make it a really grand thing, but then 
you must work at it. 

Before this reply arrived, however, my Father had virtu- 
ally decided to say " No." In view of a meeting to be held 
the same evening, he wrote on January 1 6th : 

I have thought the matter over very carefully, wishing to recon- 
cile public claims with private ones, but I am forced to the con- 
clusion that I shall be compelled to decline the invitation. 

But strong pressure was put on him. It was urged that 
his candidature would unite both sections of the Liberal 
party, and in the , end he gave way. 

I have, however, been so strongly urged to this by the Liberal 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 187 1 233 

Party generally, [he wrote ajfterwards,] and also by a considerable 
numb^ of the working men of this City, that I have yielded to 
what I believe to be the call of duty. 

In a letter to Mr. John Youngs, dated January 19th, 
1 871, announcing his decision, he wrote: 

I am sure I need hardly say to you that the honour is not one 
which I have sought, for it involves considerable labour, and inter- 
feres with domestic comfort, nor are the necessary claims of my 
business and fiunily such as I can put aside or negled. But at the 
same time I feel that, as the Liberal Party of Norwich think that 
it is of importance to the cause that I should come forward at the 
present crisis, I do not feel myself at liberty to decline. In the event 
of my eledion, you wilL I feel confident, not expe£l me to give 
that close attention to rarliamentary work which any one with 
perfed leisiu'e would be able to do. That, however, is for the 
Elefbors to consider, and on my part I can only promise to attend 
to the duties as far as my health and strength, with other claims 
upon my time, will permit. 

One reason had weighed a good deal with my Father. 
The Franco-German war was still going on. Paris was at 
the moment besieged by the Prussian Army, for the city 
did not capitulate until the end of January. European com- 
plications had arisen during the war, in which it seemed at 
one time that England might be involved. And, on the 
other side of the Atlantic, pressure was still being put on 
the English Government in regard to the Alabama Claims, 
and until the account for that was agreed to there was al- 
ways the possibility of a call to arms. With wars and 
rumours or wars about, he felt it most important to retain 
at the head of the English Government a man like Mr. 
Gladstone, who would not fan the flame of international 
hatred. 

This sad war, [he wrote,] seems to have split up Mr. Glad* 
stone's supporters a good deal, and I should have been much annoyed 
if^ by my refusing to stand, a Tory had got in. . . . 

About the same time he wrote: 



234 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I am fairly staggered at the war spirit one often sees in men and 
papers. 

My Father was prepared to give Mr. Gladstone a ** cordial 
and hearty support," though not a slavish one, should any 
important question arise on which he differed from him. 
He described himself as " an independent supporter of Her 
Majesty's Government." He came forward "not as the 
candidate of a seftion, but taking the broad ground that 
all se<5bions and creeds of the Liberal Party may unite, and 
thus succeed," and he went into Parliament untrammelled 
by pledges. He laid down the rule at the banning of his 
candidature— one to which he always adhered — ^that: 

In view of the many questions coming up for decision, on which 
different sections of the Liberal Party hold different views, I must 
be free from any pledges, save the general one of hearty but inde- 
pendent support to the present Government. 

My Father felt keenly both the honour and the respon- 
sibility of entering the House of Commons. Although he 
had ^^ fought against the idea very strongly indeed,* and 
much wished " the call had not come at the present time," 
yet, he confessed, " the highest position I should ever desire 
to fill, would be to represent my native City in Parliament." 
So closely did he identify himself with Norwich, that he 
applied the term " native " to it, although it was not his 
birthplace, and when one newspaper spoke of him as " Citizen 
J. J. Colman " at the time of his candidature, he responded: 

I am not at all ashamed of the term ^^ Citizen ** ! Notwithstanding 
all that has been done in Norwich, there is a good history attached 
to the old City, and a great deal of honour attached to her name* 

Historic associations counted for much with him, and he 
liked to feel he was associated with a city which had a record 
stretching far into the past. 

My Father did not lightly rush into his new duties. 
Believing that ^' a very high and sacred trust is devolved 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 1871 235 

upon a representative," in entering the House of Commons, 
" one of the greatest assemblies, if not the very greatest 
which has ever met in the world," he could not give his 
votes " lightly for the day," but with the feeling that " a 
decision given in that Assembly afFeds not merely the in- 
terests ofindividuals, but of this country, and our colonies," 
and ^^ has an influence upon the whole civilized world," and 
may afFeft ^^our descendants for many generations to come." 
It had seemed at one time during the contest that the 
Liberal vote would be split, as the Labour Representation 
League put forward a candidate, Mr. George Howell. My 
Father would gladly have stood aside if there had been any 
chance of returning a nominee of the Society, and wrote 
to one conneded with it: 

I am most anxious not to do anything to prevent the success of 
the principle your League is labouring to promote. Indeed, I have 
urged on several of our friends whether it would not be possible for 
me to stand aside, that Norwich might have the credit of being the 
first to return a working man to Parliament. I could not, however, 
convince them that this was pradicable, considering the peculiar 
circumstances of the constituency, and I have therefore come for- 
ward in the hope of promoting the union of the Liberal Party in 
our City. 

In the end, Mr. Howell withdrew, feeling, he wrote to 
my Father : 

My hands and tongue would be tied in a contest with so good a 
Liberal, and one whose aid has been often given to movements 
with which I have been myself identified for many years past. 

My Father always had a great respedl for him, and was 
glad when the time came for the two rival candidates to 
meet as Members of the House of Commons. In later 
years, too, he welcomed him among the guests at his sea- 
side home at Corton, a visit of which Mr. Howell wrote 
afterwards to my Sister: 

I, too, remember the ((delightful visit to Corton. I was at that 



236 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

time very low in health and spirits. The ** sad sea waves " helped 
to cure me of both. I am often in fancy roaming along the beautiful 
walks, gazing at the waves and sky. But then the welcome made 
it the paradise it was. 

About a week before the polling day, the G)nscrvative 
candidate was announced, Sir Charles Legard, a stranger 
to Norwich. My Father was not very well at the time, but 
he was of course eacpeded to enter into the contest with 
zest. " Yours RespedfuUy a thorow going Liberal," for 
instance, wrote to say that: 

A few warm suporters of the Liberal Cause in St. Benedid's 
street Beg you to do them the Honour of Driving through there 
street, as the sight of your radient Countanance will give them 
great pleasure.'* 

The nomination took place in the Guildhall on February 
20th, 1 87 1. One reads that it was "a universal din," and 
" so complete a bear garden was never before seen in such 
perfeftion," — a description hardly surprising when one 
knows the size of the Court Room, which was nearly full 
of supporters of the rival candidates before the doors were 
opened to the public. " A ramping, roaring crowd " then 
rushed in, and most of the speaking was reduced to dumb 
show. My Father was nominated by Mr. Tillett, and 
seconded by Mr. Henry Birkbeck and Mr. O. Springfield. 
A show of hands was taken on behalf of the rival candidates. 
The Sheriff declared it to be in favour of the Liberal, where- 
upon the usual form was gone through of demanding a 
poll on behalf of the ^other candidate. ' The Eleftion took 
place the following day. The state of the poll was declared 
from hour to hour. At 9 o'clock my Father's majority 
was 282, by I2 o'clock 1,000, and at 4 o'clock, when the 
poll closed, as it did in those days, it was over 1,200. Dense 
crowds were in the Market Place. The figures were: 

J. J. Colman, (Lib.) 4,637 

Sir Charles Legard, (Con.) 3,389 



NORWICH POLITICS 1859— 1871 237 

It was not my Father*s habit to get unduly elated at his 
successes, or at least if he did he never showed it, but a 
candid relation begged him to remember that " it is much 
more difficult to Mar success weU than defeat ^ At the 
formal Declaration of the Poll, in expressing his thanks for 
the good temper displayed, he said: 

I have ridden about the City during several contests, but I may 
say that I have never seen an Eledion conduced with more good 
temper and forbearance than on this occasion. On only one occasion 
did I see any fisticuffs. 

There was, of course, much jubilation on the part of the 
Liberals. " Hurrah for the Blues and Whites " was freely 
played by the band, and a great procession, organized by 
working men, paraded the streets, though this was against 
the new Member's wishes, and he took no part in it. His 
abstention was not, he explained in an Address of Thanks 
to the eledors, from any "feeling of depreciation of our 
vidlory, or ingratitude to you who have worked so zealously 
for our success. I have simply had a desire to allay, as 
quickly as possible, the feelings of excitement and political 
animosity which have so long prevailed." He enaed with 
the hope "that we enter on a new, brighter, and more 
tranquil political future for our old City." 

The EleAion has an historic interest. It was the last one 
held in Norwich before the Ballot Aft came into force. 
With that Aft there passed away, not only the publicity of 
voting, but the public nominations, and the declaration of 
the state of the poll from hour to hour — ^fruitful incentives 
to bribery. These changes, ushering in a new order of 
things, were welcomed by no one more than by my Father. 

His political life now entered upon a new phase. He 
had, it is true, been closely connefted with the political life 
of Norwich in the past, and in touch, too, with that of the 
county. But henceforth, for a period of twenty-four years, 
without a break, he was to be in personal touch with the 
House of &>mmons as one of the Members for Norwich. 



CHAPTER XV 

PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 
1856 1873: AGED 26 ^43 

WHILE my Father's time was fully engaged with 
business, public and other outside interests, my 
Mother too found her hands getting increasingly fidl. 
The claims of the Gurow Workpeople and their families, 
a claim she never ceased to recognize when assistance or 
guidance was needed in times of difficulty or distress, has 
been alluded to already. But her home claims were in- 
creasing too. Her husband's sister, with the thought of 
those years in her mind, says she thinks of my Mother as 
one who got through a great amount of work, and yet had 
the happy knack of never appearing in a hurry. Her six 
children — two sons and four daughters — ^the eldest born 
in 1859, ^^^ ^^ youngest in 1869, occupied much of her 
time and thoughts. Thus she wrote to her brother Herbert, 
when there were five litde ones to be cared for: 

I feel my home duties very onerous now. L. is growing to an 
age which is very impressionable for good or evil, and when habits 
are formed that may prove ineradicable. R. and £. are still in their 
play time — ^thcy are fiiU of life and high spirits — and they require 
much ta<^ to dired their energy intd harmless channels. H. is just 
beginning to think herself old enough to climb on chairs, or try to 
get up or downstairs, at the inuninent risk of bruised, if not brolcen, 
Umbs. The other day she was discovered on a narrow ledge look- 
ing out of a window at the top of the staircase, where, if she had 
fallen backward she might have injured her spine, and if she had 
over-balanced herself and fallen out she must have been dashed to 
pieces ! I need not tell you that I had bars put upon this window 

238 



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PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 239 

forthwith. Then there is ^ the Babf/' who is master of all the 
household^ of course, and he must have incessant watching, and 
cannot be left even when asleep. So do jrou not think that I am 
likely to be iiill of occupation for some years to come, with five 
little trots to manage! Seriously I feel the heavy responsibili^ 
which rests upon a Mother, and I do not think anything can justify 
her in handing over her little ones entirely to paia assistants. 

If the care was heavy, her delight in it was great Even 
from Letheringsett, ^' die old and ever dear home," as she 
described it in later years, she wrote to her husband, when 
staying there in 1869: 

I feel as if I had nothing to do but to be idle ! as I have neither 
you nor any of the children with me, except Laura, who does not 
want *^ looking after.'* It is all very well for a short time, but I 
shall soon long to be back to home duties, with their never-ending 
delights. 

Any record of the home life would be incomplete with- 
out a mention of mj Mother's friend, Miss Lucy Clark- 
son, ^^ a most kind fellow-worker in domestic and maternal 
duties,** as she described her. She was an inmate of the 
home for many years, helping my Mother in numerous 
ways, until the eldest daughter was able to take her place. 
With the children she helped to care for she has left a me* 
mory of never failing and devoted kindness. 

The autumn of 1863 was shadowed to my Father and 
Mother by the alarming illness of their litde son, then just 
two years old. He had never really recovered from illness 
caught in the summer in the Isle of Wight, and, when at 
Letheringsett, an attack of congestion of the lungs came 
on. The illness developed alarmingly. ' There seemed 
" only the faintest possible hope of his rallying," and the 
rally that did come was followed by a second relapse. His 
grandmother was summoned from Norwich just on the 
chance of seeing him alive once more. " If he be spared 
after this it will be almost past belief," wrote my Father, 
the child not being expeAed to live through the day. 



240 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I have had little night rest for the last week, [my Mother wrote, 
when their anxiety was at the highest,] and can hardly bear to 
snatch an hour or two even in the day, but I keep up at present 
and am too anxious to suffer from feeling sleepy. Mr. Fox's ^ 
kindness is indescribable. He sits up for hours each night, and 
watches the child with intense care. 

My Father's words to his mother were: 

These are indeed times to make one feel how dependent we are 
on God's help and power. If the dear child be taken, may we have 
strength to bear it, but if spared, grace always to remember the 
mercy which has rescued him from the utmost peril. 

Happily the devoted nursing of my Mother, and the 
unremitting care of the doftors, were at last rewarded by 
recovery. But the memory of those anxious days of watch- 
ing never left my Father and Mother, and the serious ill- 
ness of any child they knew of was enough to bring it aU 
back to their minds. He was already a subscriber to the 
Jenny Lind Infirmary in Norwich, but she now became a 
Life Grovernor of this Children's Hospital in gratitude for 
her child's recovery. 

It was strange diat they had to pass through a similar 
period of anxiety, only or shorter duration, in regard to 
their younger son, when he was just about the same age. 
Returning to Gorton from Lowestoft, where they had 
been spending the evening with my Grandmother, they 
found the child sufiering from a sudden and acute attack 
of croup. The account given by my Mother throws in- 
cidentally some light on my Father's charafter. In a 
letter to her mother she wrote: 

Jeremiah never loses his presence of mind in an emergency, and 
he was able to hit upon the right thing to be done in every par- 
ticular, and was like a nurse, carrying up hot water for the bath, 
etc., etc. I should not have known how to steam the room, but 
he remembered the pipe belonging to the fire-engine, and that 
fixed on the ketde-spout did beautiftiUy. 

^ A dodor from Norwich. 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 241 

Fortunately the attack, though accompanied by ^^ con- 
siderable danger/' passed ofF quickly, but the alarming 
suddenness of it — they having left the child seemingly in 
perfed health only two or three hours earlier — made an 
impression on them they could never forget. 

My Mother was too devotedly attached to her children 
not to have many anxious moments about them. Thus, for 
instance, her eldest boy's propensity for climbing anything 
and everything, if a source of unmixed delight to him- 
self, was not without its anxiety to her. Descent by means 
of a roof only added zest to the pleasure of getting out, 
so he was never daunted if the hour was so early that 
ordinary means of exit were closed: 

I went at 6.30 (a.m.), [she records in one letter to my Father in 
187 1,] to stop Russell from going out, but the bird was flown! 
However I had him summoned in, as it was very cold, and a kind 
of snowy sleet was falling. 

One of the things for which their children were most 
grateful during play hours was a beach made for them in 
the garden of Carrow House. The idea, since adopted 
even by municipalities, of bringing a few trucks of sea- 
sand to inland gardens was novel then. But to children 
living (happily For them) before the days of over elabor- 
ated mechanical toys, it meant bliss. An old apple tree in 
the centre, spades, pails, a few drain pipes, and water was 
all that was needed to complete the happiness, and provide 
a never-ending source of entertainment. 

When any punishment was administered — and this was 
never of a drastic kind — it doubdess cost my Father and 
Mother more distress than their children. Thus she wrote 
to him in reference to their litde son's pranks when he 
was aged three : 

R. has again been turning the gas out, so I was obliged to carry 
the threat into execution, and send him to bed, and tell him he is 
not to come into the Library to-morrow. I exped you will not 



242 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

be sorry that it happens when you are not at home. I shall miss 
his dear little face many a time during the day, but such dangerous 
sport must be stopped. 

My Father liked to have his children near him when 
he was at home. At the same time his anxious nature 
made him rather chary of having the sole responsibility of 
keeping a little tribe of youngsters out of mischief. His 
sister well remembers, when the children were tearing 
along the edge of the Esplanade Wall at Lowestoft, how 
he used to turn to her and sav, " Now, Esther, remember 
you are responsible for them.' In later years, warnings to 
his youngest daughter, then staying at her grandfather's, 
to keep near that part of the lake " where the water is not 
deep, and where if you do fall in you can easily get out 
again," and to remember that the dog there " does not 
know much of you, and may think such a little girl should 
not be too masterful with him," show that his anxiety was 
not easily brushed aside. 

My Mother summed up her ideas on the up-bringing 
of children in a sentence to her brother only three years 
before her death: 

I believe that parents do more harm by over-stri£biess than by 
over indulgence. 

It was quite a trial to both Parents when school days 
first make a gap in the family circle. In a letter to her 
mother, in 1 872, when the eldest boy first went as a weekly 
boarder to a school at Lowestoft, my Mother wrote : 

Jeremiah was not here when Russell first went to School on the 
1 8th, as he was obliged to be in Norwich, so to-day was the first 
leave-taking in a certain sense for him. It has been a great trial to 
him, as it seems like the first break in our family circle. He broke 
down thoroughly at saying goodbye to Russell, and has had g head- 
ache all day. 

In a letter to my Father, when the time of departure 
drew near, she had written : 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 243 

I have been busjr all dsLj^ doing finishing strokes to RusselPs 
things. ... It is a sorrowful day to me, and the weather seems to 
sympathize, for it is dreary and rainy. 

And the following day she wrote again : 

1 am so glad you wrote such a nice letter to Russell. Of course 
it brought tears to his eyes, and many more to mine, but with that 
exception he has been as merry as a cricket all day. I first heard 
him about 7 in the morning, singing " We won't go home till 
morning," and I could not but draw a contrast between his spirits 
and mine. Well it is a blessing that children do not meet troubles 
half way — they encounter them soon enough if they live to grow 
up. Russell's temperament is particularly ^^ sunny,'* and 1 hope it 
may always prove a blessing to him, and never become a snare. 

Although anticipating somewhat, it may not be out of 
place here to allude to my Father's views on education, as 
carried out in the case of his own children. His daughters 
were each sent f^r four years to the school at Laleham, 
Clapham Park, then carried on by Miss Pipe, and when 
the eldest one wished this to be followed by a time at 
Newnham College, Cambridge, her wishes were warmly 
seconded by her parents. Both sons were sent to a private 
Boarding School, Mr. West's, at Amersham Hall, near 
Reading. With regard to the elder my Father wrote to the 
Head Master : 

So far as his future life is concerned I presume it will be mercan- 
tile, at all events that is what I should desire, and that he should 
in due time take his place in my firm. For this purpose a know- 
ledge of arithmetic is essential, and the power of writing a good 
business letter. Chemistry is desirable, and the modern languages 
also. 

In 1 877 he was sent with a Tutor to study in Lausanne, 
and three years later to Carlsruhe, and afterwards to Cassel. 
In 1 8 8 5 he went, in company with two friends, J. A. Harmer 
and J. R. Roberts, for an eleven months' tour round the 
world, my Father feeling that such a trip would mean an 



244 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

experience and enlargement of views which would be in- 
valuable to him, and of great use in his business life. 

The same chance was given, some years later, to his 
younger son, Alan, but he had too little love for the sea to 
face a lengthy voyage. He also had been sent to Lausanne 
with a Tutor, going there first in 1883. It is clear, from 
one of Alan's letters in reply, that during the two years of 
absence abroad my Father followed his development with 
anxious solicitude, writing to him words of encouragement 
and advice, and wishing him to feel that in any time of 
difficulty he could always turn to his father and mother 
for reaay sympathy and help. The three years between 
1885 and 1888 were spent bv him at Trinity CoHegCj 
Gunbridge, where my Brother followed his natural bent — 
revealed even in childhood's days by his passion for playing 
with locks and keys — ^and went in for mechanics, studying at 
the workships established there by his future brother-in- 
law. Professor Stuart. It was entirely in accord with my 
Father's views, as well as his son's own wishes, that he went 
from Gmibridge to the Great Eastern Railway Works at 
Stratford, where his mechanical bent of mind found con- 
genial surroundings. My Father doubtless felt, with a view 
to his future business life, that it would be eminently desir- 
able for all concerned that he should be able to race the 
problems of the day from the point of view of an employee, 
as well as from those of an employer. Anxious to know 
how the experiment was succeeding, he went to investigate, 
and reported to my Mother : 

I have utilized the day pleasantly and profitably by going down 
to Stratford to see Alan, and getting him up to dinner to-night. 
I was glad to take a walk round the Works, and see what has been 
going on, and the sort of work Alan has to do, and have no doubt 
it has been a very good thing for him. I had a short talk with 
one of the Foremen, who gave Alan a very good chara&er for stick* 
ing to his work. 

My Brother entered into the work thoroughly. The 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 245 

grimy state in which he sometimes appeared without warn- 
ing at Carrow House, having come down for a trial trip on 
an engine, showed that he did not shirk the pradtical part 
of enginieering. Indeed he loved it " This sheet is some- 
what soiled,'* he facetiously explained to one correspondent, 
" as mv weekly wash does not come off till to-morrow at 
noon.' No doubt his son's delight in locomotives made 
my Father feel a special sympathy with engine-drivers. 

Too much cannot be said in praise of the manner in which they 
carry out their duties, [he said in one of his speeches]. They have 
a great responsibility upon their shoulders, and there is no man in 
England who can hil to appreciate their services. 

My Father was very constantly on the railway by force 
of circumstances. In his busy life he liked, too, at times 
to have breathing spaces by travels to foreign parts. Though 
he only once went beyond Europe, he not infrequently 
sought the much-needed relaxation by short trips on the 
Continent. 

In June, 1 863, he went for a trip to Switzerland, in com- 
pany with Mr. Ebenezer West, Mr. Alfred West, and 
Mr. John E. Foster. The party was unfortunately broken 
up by the enforced return of Mr. West and his son, but my 
FaAer " thoroughly enjoyed the thorough change and rest, 
feeling the better for it already," when he had only got as 
far as Zarich. It was his first visit to Switzerland. Every- 
thing was fresh and interesting, and his letters to my 
Mother show that things did not easily escape his notice. 
He reached Zarich, ^' having managed to get in three baths 
during the 24 hours— once in the Rhine water at BMe, 
the next in the tepid sulphurous waters of Baden, and 
once in the lake of Zarich." He " liked the appearance of 
the Swiss people far better than the French," and specially 
noticed their " honesty of look and cheerfulness," and the 
way in which " everybody seems to be at work with some- 
thing of a usefril sort, but some of the women who have 



246 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

been in the fields all their lives have a mahc^^any look, as 
if they had roughed it." That which interested him most 
at Zurich was " the School — ^which here belongs to, and is 
controlled by, Government." (This was seven years before 
Board Schools were established in England.) 

The building is a fine and handsome one. There are about 600 
children belonging (at least those we saw) to the Middle Classes. 
We went into three of the girls* rooms, which were well condu£led 
— in one room about 50 were singing and doing it well^ too. They 
kept splendid time and did not drop at all — which is more than the 
Letheringsett or Norwich choirs could say without an instrument 

On Sunday at ZOrich he went to the English church, 
where he heard " an unpretentious but thoroughly Evan- 
gelical sermon, as indeed we must have had from the text 
the good man took, * For God so loved the world,' etc." 
He noticed " the Sunday is somewhat different to, and 
better, than Paris — ^in that the shops are not open in the 
same way, and you don't see everybody, /.^., men, women, 
and children off to the theatre, gardens or circus," though 
he " cannot say much, however, for the men or the soldiers 
— the latter (who I believe in fair numbers attend Church) 
adjourn as soon as that is over to the restaurants and cafts 
to smoke and play cards or dominoes." At Schaffhausen 
he saw the Falls of the Rhine, " incomparably the finest 
thing " he had yet seen in Switzerland, but, though im- 
pressed with their grandeur, he cannot forget that ** even 
the Rhine is not master," for it has been spanned by a 
bridge, and boats cross and re-cross it within a hundred 
yards of the falls. He went on to Lucerne, where, having 
awoke at about 4 in the morning, he opened the shutters 
and " watched the light of the sun gradually catching the 
mountains, many covered with snow." The world-fiimous 
" Memorial to 300 or 400 Swiss Guards who were murdered 
in Paris by the revolutionary mob in 1792," he described 
as " a znagnificent gigantic lion, hewn out of the solid rock, 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 247 

and a grand piece of sculpture/' From thence he went to 
Altdort, which ^^ derives its chief interest from its being the 
home of William Tell," and he thinks " if the story told 
about him be not true, it ought to be, for a brave man 
living oppressed in such a land should be inspired to heroic 
deeds." 

A wonderful thunderstorm with peculiar coloured light- 
ning, the eledlric bells in hotels, the custom of hanging out 
the feather-beds and clothes fi-om the windows, ^* no doubt 
very wholesome, but it looks quaint," the costiune of the 
women, ^^ peculiar but piAuresque," the botanical interest 
of the country, the absence of many ^miliar birds, and a 
German Service where the sermon was preached by an "old 
man with a great lace ruffle just as Queen Elizabeth is al- 
ways drawn m," and where the tourists "made a hole in our 
manners by going in at the women's door, the men and 
women sitting on different sides," — these were amongst 
the things that came in for their share of attention. 

At Lausanne my Father joined his mother, sister, and 
Miss Harriet Copeman, going thence over the T6te Noir 
Pass to Chamounix, where he got his first view of glaciers — 
^* alike curious, wonderful and beautiful." From Martigny 
he had gone with his sister to spend a night at the Great 
St. Bernard Hospice, where he records: 

We were entertained not sumptuoiisly but hospitably, one of 
the Monks or Brethren being in the room, and being, I must 
say, a most pleasant and gentlemanly man. We went to bed at 
9.30, and at 4.30 this morning the Bell rang for matins, which 
began at 5, and some service was still going on when we left at 
7.30. . . . With all the detestation of Popery, one cannot but ad- 
mire these men who devote themselves thus to what they deem a 
duty. The place itself is certainly not inviting — much more desolate 
than I expedled, and it was striking, as we ascended, to notice the 
way in which vegetable life altered. ... In winter time water 
freezes in the bedrooms in ^ of an hour. 

Roman Catholicism never attraded my Father, nay. 



248 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

rather repelled him, but, staunch Protestant though he 
was, the sight of those Brethren of the Great St. Bernard 
strangely moved him. Perhaps it was because their lives 
were so wide apart and differing from his own — ^the one 
spent amongst the silent solitudes of the mountains, and 
the other amongst the busy haunts of men — ^but certain it 
is he often referred to this visit. Many years later he list- 
ened with the keenest interest to a description given at 
Aix-les-Bains by the Dean of Gloucester, Dr. Spence, of 
the solemn, silent, midnight service at the Grande Char- 
treuse Monastery, recalling, as he said, this visit, nearly 
thirty years earlier, to the Monastery on the Great St. 
Bernard. 

Through all his wanderings, my Father looked forward 
to " union at home " at the end. He reached Carrow, bring- 
ing ^^ a youne companion in the shape of a St Bernard 
puppy from me Hospice," where he rejoined my Mother, 
who, with her three children and two sisters, had been 
spending the time in the Isle of Wight. Her trip had been 
less successful than his, for illness caught there by the 
children, and the recoUeAion of a risky boating; experience 
off the Needles, which sickened her for ever after of going 
on the sea, did much to detrad from the delights of the place* 

The following summer, 1864, my Father and Mother, 
accompanied by her sisters, Cecilia and Agnes, went for a 
trip to Scodand. The route included Edinburgh, Dunkeld, 
Blair Athol, Kenmore, Lochearnhead, the Trossachs, In- 
verary. Loch Awe, and Oban, and was reported by my 
Father to have been " a very pleasant one, notwithstanding 
the drawback of frequent bad weather." 

Their children were left in charge of his mother. Visits 
to her stiU remain happy memories, much enhanced by the 
spoilings meted out to them by one inmate of the house, 
Marie Blatti, a Swiss, who for many years, until the close 
of my Grandmother's life, cared for her with unfailing and 
devoted attention. 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 249 

My Mother, who always looked upon the return journey 
as the best part of a tour, especially when her children were 
left behind, wrote to her mother-in-law, " I expect I shall 
enjoy home all the more after being at Hotels for a fort- 
night" The children were much in their Father's thoughts 
too. The following letter was one written to them during 
his absence. 

Tarbct Hotel, 
Loch Lomond. 
24th June, 1864. 
My dear little Laura and Russell, 

As I promised to write you a note whikt I was away from 
home, I now send one which you must get Grandmamma or Aunt 
Esther to read. 

I do not think you would like the weather in Scotland so well as 
Lowestoft, as it so very often rains and would keep you indoors. 
To-<lay we were to have gone up a high hill or mountain, but it is 
raining so fest we are obliged to keep in, and is so cold we are very 
glad to have a fire to sit by. This is a very pretty country, but 
there are a great many very high hills, and such rough roads, that 
I do not think Heftor or Tom would go over them, and even your 
new donkey would not like them. There is no beach either where 
you could dig — at least not where we have been to. One day when 
you both grow older, I dare say you would like to come and see 
Scotland, or some other country like it, and I can tell you we shall 
like to have you with us, too. 

The poor little boys and girls who run about in the wet hardly 
ever have any shoes or stockings on, but they do not seem to mind 
it, and rim quite as quickly over the hard road and stones as you 
would on the beach or in the garden. 

I am glad to find you are both quite well, and Ethel too. You 
may tell her, as she is a good litde girl, she shall come down to 
prayers when we get home. I hope you are always good, and not 
much trouble to your Grandmamma, or Aunt, or Nurse. And 
now I dare say my note is long enough, so with my love and a kiss, 

I remain 

Your affectionate Father 

J. J. Colman. 

In June 1867, my Father and Mother went for another 



250 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

trip abroad, accompanied by tier same sisters. The route 
included Paris (where my Father's Firm was exhibiting at 
the Exhibition), Neuchatd, Interlaken, and Lucerne. It 
was a great wrench for my Mother to leave her children, 
especially the five months' old baby. She used to recall her 
ddight, as she neared Lowestoft on her return journey, 
when the train drew up at the ticket-colleAing platform, 
and her eldest boy was unexpeftedly handed into the car- 
riage by James Utting — one whose service in my Father s 
fonily extended over more than half-a-century, until closed 
by death in 1899. His extreme sociability, once summed 
up in his view of life, " I'd rather have a good old rowing 
than not be spoke to," had been amply sufficient to over- 
come the scruples of any ticket-coUedor who might think 
such platforms were meant for officials only. His faithful 
service, it may be mentioned here, as much in the capacity 
of nurse as of groom, was one of their children's happiest 
memories, and his devotion to all that concerned their in- 
terests only terminated with life itself. 

The summer of 1869 again saw my Father in Switzer- 
land, this time in company with his brother-in-law, Sydney 
Cozens-Hardy. Leaving behind him Norwich eleftioneer- 
ing worries, then crowding thick and fast, he revelled in 
the change. " You have no idea what a place Switzerland 
is for clearing all cobwebs oflF the brain," he wrote home 
to his father-in-law. They went to Neuchitd, Thun, Giess- 
bach (where my Father met his mother and sister), and 
thence to Zermatt. 

In the same year, 1 8 69, my Father obtained possession 
of a sea-side home at Corton, about two miles to the north 
of Lowestoft, which became a veritable haven of rest to my 
Father and Mother, and where they always spent some 
months every year. Before that time they used to go to 
Lowestoft, first to No. 8 Marine Parade, and afterwards to 
No. 20 The Esplanade — leaving his mother to keep on the 
former house. My Father's earliest recoUedions of the 



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PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 251 

village of Corton dated from boyhood, when he used to 
ride alonfi; the beach during visits at Gorieston, the dodor 
having advised this exercise for him. 

The house at G>rton — Cliff House, as it used to be 
called, until thejr re-named it The Clyfie-^s placed quite 
on the edge of the diff, and, being the most easterly house 
in England, has an extensive and uninterrupted view of 
the sea at a point where an unusually large number of 
vessels of all kinds pass and re-pass on the water highway. 
It was built in 1848 by Mr. Holland T. Birkett, who, 
curiously enough, at one time lived at Gurow House, but 
it had changed hands, and was now once again in the market. 
My Mother, who loved an extensive view — so much so 
that her son-in-law used to tell her she complained even of 
the horizon line — never forgot her delight when, on a bril- 
liant day, she first saw the view from that spot. Both she 
and my Father fell in love with it, but disappointment 
followed, for the house was sold to another bidder. For- 
tunately, however, this buyer did not retain it more than a 
month or two. It is said his wife was found to have a 
delicacy of the lungs, and the doftors of those days, not 
having discovered the efficacy of the East Coast air, 
peremptorily forbade her to live there. Consequently, the 
place was quickly again for sale, and my Father bought it. 

We do not come into poesession until Sep. loth, [my Mother 
wrote]. Some of our friends think we shall find the place verjr 
lonely, but I believe we shall luxuriate in the quiet — it seems to 
me to unite the advantages of a country and a sea-side house. 

Time only proved the accuracy of her prophecy. " Lon- 
don at its best," my Fatl^er thought, " but a poor sub- 
stitute for Corton." In later years he gradually acquired 
more property, both on the north and the south, so that 
the garden was considerably extended, and in 1874-5 he 
enlarged the house, a work carried out largely on the lines 
of my Mother's suggestions, she having inherited a taste 



252 ' JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

for archite<5fcure from her father. She always liked to do 
things thoroughly, and while the alterations were under 
discussion she had a litde wooden model made, in order 
to tell more easily how they would look. She had the valued 
assistance of two of those employed at Carrow, namely, 
William Spurgeon and J. E. Doggett, who, as heads of 
the brick-laying and the carpentering parts of the work, 
threw themselves whole-heartedly into anything that con- 
cerned Corton. My Father leaned, too, on the advice of 
the former with reference to the sea defence works, un- 
happily essential on that coast. The subjeA is one now 
much under discussion, and my Father's views may be of 
interest : 

My experience in fighting the sea teaches me that it is easier to 
prevent mischief by timely measures than to repair it later on. 

And in writing to a correspondent in 1897, he said: 

Like yourself, I am having ^^ very considerable trouble ** about 
the Beach opposite my residence at Corton — indeed I have been 
fighting Father Neptune more or less for twenty or thirty years, 
and find it a tough job. ... I may say that I think on the whole 
my work has been well done, but where any spots have been left 
weak a rough sea has been sure to find them out. 

The garden at Corton was an infinite source of interest 
both to my Father and Mother. Her special taste for 
landscape gardening found there full scope, much of the 
garden being laid out from a common. The mixture of the 
wild with die cultivated, all running along the edge of 
the sea, the gorse, heather and bracken retained in all their 
beauties with the more cultivated shrubs and flowers, formed 
an unusual combination, and they both delighted in disprov- 
ing the fidlacy that nothing will grow on the East Coast. 
Judicious planting was able to cope with much in the way 
of climate. 

The restful beauty of Nature meant a great deal to both 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 253 

my Father and Mother. Society life had little attradion 
for either of them. His description of a London "At 
Home " as " an awful cram, and I did not stay very long," 
of a Ball at Buckingham Palace as " a pretty sight, of 
course, in its way, but not one I should specially go out of 
my way for," and his guiding rule of being " the last to 
arrive, and the first to leave,' seem to sum up my Father's 
views on Society fundions. While my Mother's verdid 
on an Evening Party in London as " a great crush — much 
noise — and little pleasure," shows she echoed her husband's 
views. 

" Certainly I was never intended for fashionable life," 
she once wrote to her mother, " for it is to me the dreariest 
thing possible." But on the other hand, while mere rank 
counted for nothing, my Father and Modier liked to enter- 
tain those with whom they had interests and sympathies in 
common, and were glad to welcome such to Gorton. Writing 
in 1858 to her brother Herbert, in reference to a lady 
moving in so-called " high society," my Mother said : 

I have no desire to form her acquaintance, as I have heard that 
she is very haughty and uncertain in her manner, and you know 
I have no attradtion towards those who move in such a diflFerent 
line of life. If it had been an invitation from any of those who 
stand high in the Literary or Intellectual world, I should have 
deemed it an honour to sit at their feet and learn wisdom. 

And again, ten years later, she wrote : 

We go up to London in order to meet Dean Alford, possibly 
Dean Stanley, Matthew Arnold, George MacDonald, Mr. Binney, 
etc., etc., at dinner at Mr. Henry Allon's, It was a temptation I 
could not resist. 

No doubt my Father's instinds were towards a quiet 
home lif<^ thoue^h increasing duties obliged him often to 
forego this. Before their marriage he wrote to my Mother: 

In h& I sometimes fzncy I shall be tempted to lead too quiet a 



254 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

life, and not eo out to ail the duties that devolve upon one, . . . 
and I fiincv i shan't be wishful to have too much to do with the 
bustle of rolitics, etc. Now, if you see any danger of this, though 
'tis a fault on the right side, you must corredl it. 

My Mother's reply was : 

While I would a thousand times rather have you err on this 
side than on the other, I am sure I should be very grieved if the 
fa£t of your having a happy home made you a worse citizen, or a 
less 2jBtiyt philanthropist. It will not do for us to lead a life of self- 
indulgence, for self-denial is often much more salutary. . . . Situated 
as you are, you will no doubt alwajrs possess considerable influence, 
and I know I shall feel the greatest pride and satisfaction in seeing 
you exert it on behalf of every movement likely to do good, whether 
civil or religious. 

It will be readily understood that, with so many pressing 
interests, my Father's life could not be other than a busy 
one. Litde touches in his letters reveal something of the 
strain even in early days. It was litde wonder my Mother 
should write to him, in 1880: 

When will the "rush'* of your life know a little "hush!" Echo 
answers " When? " 

A few years later comes the complaint from her: 

We are almost done to death with meetings in Norwich, and 
we are going to run over to Corton on Saturday for a few days' 
sea air and quiet. 

And when, in 1892, it was suggested that it would be 
better for his eleftioneering interests if he would see more 
of his constituents, he was forced to reply : 

I am obliged for the hint which you have handed on to me as 
to my not going amongst the Norwich people enough. Perhaps 
if they saw my Engagements List they would understand that this 
was a thing which could hardly be helped. 

Happily, his was not one of those resdess natures that 
wear themselves out When work did slacken ofF^ during 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 255 

holiday hours, and on Sundays, he knew how to cast aside 
outside cares, and enjoy quiet times. ^^ Though they take 
me more away from solitude and home than yours," he 
wrote to his mother, in reference to the " necessary engage- 
ments of life," yet " they often make me wish for quiet and 
retirement rather than give a desire for increased bustle." 
And again: 

I hope I may get to London in time for Mr. Pulsford's sermon. 
I am very fond of *^ Quiet Hours,'' both the book and the reality, 
and should like to have one in Bloomsbury. 

Sundays were always kept religiously free from bustle 
and worry. When asked his views on the total abolition of 
Sunday Labour in the Post Office, while replying he was 
quite prepared to minimize it, but did not think it feasible 
to stop it entirely, he added : 

Personally, I have very little care about the matter. A good 
many letters that I receive on Sunday are never opened till Monday, 
that I may have some rest as well as the postmen. 

Business, public or social cares were seldom allowed to 
disturb that day of rest. One of his children still recalls, as 
a child, realizing the solemnity and gravity of death solely 
by the fad that the telegram, announcing the death of an 
uncle, involved her Father's journeying to London on a 
Sunday. This was such an unheard-of event. Indeed all 
his life, abroad as well as at home, my Father avoided Sun- 
day travelling whenever feasible, anxious to make it, as far 
as possible, a day of rest for others as well as for himself. 

The Sundays spent in the quiet of Gorton were days of 
special charm to my Father and Mother. There was no 
Nonconformist Chapel in the Village when they first went 
there, but through his instrumentality one was ereAed, 
conneAed with the Free Methodist Denomination, the 
Foundation Stone being laid by my Mother in 1 873. They 
had many friends among Nonconformist Ministers, and 



256 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

liked to ask them to spend a few days by the sea, taking 
the Services on Sunday — ^usually the morning one at Lowes- 
toft, and the evening one at Corton. At Lowestoft the 
Services were held at Chapels of different Denominations, 
the Congregationalist, Baptist, Wesleyan, and Free Metho- 
dist all coming in for their share. Among those who came, 
all valued friends, were Dr. Binney, the Rev. J. Baldwin 
Brown, Dr. Allon, the Rev. Joshua C. Harrison, Dr. R. W. 
Dale, Dr. Stoughton, Dr. Guinness Rogers, the Rev. 
Edward White, and Dr. Berry. 

Increasing years only added to the beauties and associa- 
tions of Corton. His mother, writing to my Father in 1 8 87, 
said of it: 

The house and grounds have increased in beauty and seem 
almost too perfe£l for an earthly home. I felt it so, and yet know it 
need not steal the heart — that there is enough in every day life, 
and in business and public life, to give ballast in the most attradive 
surroundings. 

It was at Corton, "by the ever-lovely, ever-changing 
sea,'* to use my Mother's phrase about it, that both she 
and my Father spent the dosing days of their lives on 
earth. 



CHAPTER XVI 

FIRST PARLIAMBNT 
187I 1874: AOBD 40— 43 

(liberal administration) 

MY Father took his seat in the House of Commons 
on February 23rd 1871, being introduced by Mr. 
Samuel Morley and Dr. Dalrymple: 

Just a line to say I have very quietly taken my seat, and got the 
run of the House, though with some danger of losing myself in 
the comers. 

This was his report to my Mother the same evening. 
The next day he added: 

Of course on the first night I remained to the last, particularly 
as Wiiiterbotham was to speak, as he did very well, and to the 
point. We were kept at it till about 12, and then I went off to 
rest. . . • My refleftions and morals on this place I leave till I see 
you — the scene is too novel for much moralizing as yet. 

He recorded his first vote in fevour of the Repeal of 
the Ecclesiastical Tides Ad, an Ad passed in 185 1 as a 

frotest against the adion of the Pope in the issue of a 
^apal Biul about the establishment of Roman Catholic 
Bishops in England. Feeling ran high at that time, in spite 
of Mr. Gladstone's opposition based on the ground of re- 
ligious freedom, but the Ad remained a d^ letter, and 
was quietly repealed in 1871. 

My Fadier entered the House when, under Mr. Glad- 
stone s leadership, it was full of a reforming spirit, and 



258 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

some very important measures were passed during his first 
Parliament. Mr. Bright might well say the task the Minis- 
ters had attempted was like driving six omnibuses abreast 
through Temple Bar, but, somehow or other, in the end 
many of them were squeezed through. In looking back 
at the five or six years preceding the 1874 Eledhon, my 
Father commented on the " immense work " that had been 
done during that period : 

The Irish Church was .disestablished, the Irish Land Ad passed, 
Purchase in the Army abolished, the Ballot became law, an Educar 
tion A£l — a very important measure, notwithstanding its defeds — 
was carried, and the Licensing Law was amended. 

The Irish Afts and the Elementary Education Aft had 
become law shortly before his first Eledtion. The others 
he was able to support by his votes. 

The Bill for the Abolition of Purchase in the Army was 
one of the early measures which revealed to him som^inof 
of the meaning of obstruAion, and convinced him thstt lire 
in the House of Commons was not altogether a bed of 
roses. In a letter to his wife on March 17th, 1871, he 
wrote: 

You may imagine how angry I was at the Tories last night 
for forcing on some 6 divisions between 12.15 and 3.15 tuoiUy aU 
to no purpose save as a trial of strength, when the same time might 
have finished all the fight on this horrid Army Bill. I begin to wish 
armies and officers were at the moon. 

Three months later, however, the outlook was a little 
calmer. In a letter to his sister he records: 

Parliament has got suddenly into smooth water. The Army Bill 
looked like lasting for weeks, but the alteration made on Mondxf 
has changed the whole course of the afiair, and the fight has been 
practically finished without a division to-night, and the House is 
now deep in the question of some alteration in the lessons in the 
Prayer Book. I can firom where I write hear their voices, and can 
see the Secretiiry of State for India (who does much of the ruling 
of 180^000,000 people) enjoying himself in a proibund slumber. ^ 



FIRST PARLIAMENT 1 871— 1874 259 

But my Father was to learn early in his Parliamentary 
e3q>eriences that Bills are not got through Parliament even 
as easily as this. '* The Lords have thrown the Army Bill 
out — ^more shame for them," was the way in which he ex- 
pressed his views a month later. But they had over-stepped 
the mark* Mr. Gladstone took the drastic step of advising 
the Queen to cancel the Royal Warrant, the system of pur- 
chase being only authorizea by this, and not by the law of 
the land. The Lords thus found dieir hands forced, and 
felt obliged to pass the remainder of the Bill dealing; with 
compensation for officers; but the Bill all along had been 
the occasion of the bitterest wrangling: 

Wc were told, [said my Father,] that the Army, the Country, 
and everything would go to wreck and ruin. . . . We endeavoured 
to make the army a national army, and to make volunteers and 
others entering it feel that they womd rise by merit, and not simply 
by the purse. It is almost impossible for you to imagine the ex- 
traordinarily bitter fights that took place over thatappvently simple 
question. We had this Colonel and that Colonel risine on either 
side of the House, so that it was a matter of great relief to the 
Members of the House, who did not take a personal interest in 
military affiiirs, to find at last that the Country was clear once and 
for ever of the purchase sjrstem in the British Army. 

The Ballot Ad involved another long and tedious struggle. 
One of my Father's notes about it, dated June 30th, 1871, 
was: 

m 

We got our division at last on th^ Ballot, viz., at about 3 o'clock, 
and I walked home in broad daylight, getting to bed about 4« . 

It was finaUy passed in 1872, but not until, in his 
opinion, ^' the noble Lords had done as much mischief to 
it as they could, by limiting the Bill to eight years," so 
that it had to be re-enaAed at the end .of that time. My^ 
Father's views, in looking back on the struggle, were: . 

We fought, I believe, for quiet and orderly Eledions, and that 
the Eledois might freely and frankly give their unbiassed opinions. 



26o JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I believe in that sense the Ballot has answered, and answered 
well 

He supported the Motion for the Disestablishment of 
the Church of England, introduced into the House by 
Mr. Miall in 1871, believing, as he did, in its objcft. But 
he thought it impolitic of the Liberation Society to push 
on the question at that junfture, feeling " the Liberal Party 
for another Ele<%ion on the new Franchise needs consoli- 
dation and not an element of division " : 

I am a Nonconformist, [my Father wrote,] but I am a Liberal 
too, and I fear the latter wiQ lose more than the former will gain. 

As the Motion was lost by 374 against 89, the Liberal 
' Party was clearly not as yet consolidated on the question. 

Before the end of the Session, my Father had time to 
jfind out some o£ the trials of Parliamentary life, worse in 
those days when no Twelve O'clock Rule was in force. 
Sentences which record that ^^ talk is more the order of 
the day than work, and talk of a very tiresome sort," and 
that he has been detained in London for five days on a 
Committee on a Dublin Gas Bill, are enough to show 
that the life added a good deal of wear and tear to one 
who already had his hands more than full. My Mother 
too lamented the breaks it caused in their home life. *^ It 
is indeed most disappointing to have you away 4/7 of a 
week," she wrote of one of her early experiences. . And as 
to con^tulations given by friends on her husband's elec- 
tion, she said: 

I felt that condolences would have chimed in better with my 
own feelings I 

In 1872 my Father was asked to second the Address 
^to the Throne, Mr. Gladstone, in sending the request, 
writing: 

Your personal position and charaAer and that of your constitu- 
ency alike as I think recommend this arrangement. 



FIRST PARLIAMENT 1 871— 1874 261 

He replied, asking a little time for consideration, feeling 
'^ to shrink from making my first speech in Parliament on 
such an important occasion, lest I should fail and thus 
bring discredit on the Motion intrusted to me." Mean- 
while he sought the advice of one or two friends. " I am 
fearfiil the task will be an unusually difficult one this year," 
he wrote. This was mainly because the Nonconformists 
had not seen eye to eye with the Government on their 
Education policy, so to be eulogistic, without some reser- 
vation, was impossible. As my Mother expressed it in a 
letter to her brother Herbert: 

It requires however great ta£f to express this whilst seconding 
the Address, without layine himself open to the charge of doing 
an ungracious thing. StiU, I would rather speak out the truth 
boldly, than shirk the question on accoimt of its being an awkward 
one to handle. 

Her brother's views were quite in accord with her own: 

It is much better that he should not conceal his opinions from 
the House. He is not a thick and thin supporter of the Govern- 
ment — one of the ^Open your mouth and shut your eyes and take 
what I will eive you " school, and I shall be rather surprised if he 
does not find himself in the opposite lobby to Forster several times 
this session. 

Mr. Henry Winterbotham*s advice was much on the 
same lines : 

As you don't share the more violent views of the revolting Non« 
conformists, I can susped no reason for your declining the honour. 
• . . Follow your own counsel — and I am sure a short simple 
manly straight-forward speech will do you good, — and the Govern- 
ment too. 

In finally acceding to Mr. Gladstone's request, my Father 
wrote : 

Whilst feeling my own inability to perform the task adequately, 
I will do my best, and do it heartily. There are some questions on 



262 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

which, as a Nonconformist, I should probably be cbmpelled to 
dissent from the Government in some votes of the Session, but, 
warmly supporting the general political policy, I shall be glad to 
testify this by supporting the Address. 

He was keenly alive to the responsibility. Thus he wrote 
to Mr. Edward Miall: 

[ I know it is an honourable position, and a responsible one too, 
and I confess to feeling nervous in the prospe£l of it. It has come 
upon me most entirely by surpri9e, so I can only do my best, 
trusting to the charity of my friends. 

The mover of the Address in the House of G)mmons 
was the Hon. Henry Strutt. In describing my Father's 

part, my Mother wrote in a letter to her mother: 

• 

I am veiy glad to be able to tell you that Jeremiah got on very 
well indeed yesterday. He has often spoken with more apparent 
nervousness when there has not been half so much reason. I know 
hefilt bad enough before he got up, and at first was stuttering, but 
after the first sentence he spoke fluently, and I could hear every 
word in the Gallery. I have no time to tell you more of what 
passed. ... I felt dreadfully nervous till Jeremiah had got a fair 
start, and then I did not care, but took notes all the time, so that 
I am able to correal the newspaper reports of his s[)eech before it 
is published in Hansard, as Jeremiah has been asked to correct it 
for that report. 

One question of surpassing importance, which demanded 
a reference, was our relations with America, then strained 
over the Alabama Claims. It was ten years since the un- 
happy day when the vessel, just a day too soon to be 
stopped by a dilatory Government, left an English dock- 
yard, and manned mainly by English saUors, and starting 
under the English flag, began its two years of privateering 
on behalf of the Southern Confederate States, during the 
American War between the North and the South. The 
vessel inflided great damage on the commerce of the North, 
until it was sunk in 1864. Claims for compensation were 
sent in against the English Government, and a long chapter 



FIRST PARLIAMENT 1 871— 1874 263 

of diplomatic correspondence b^^an, until at length^in 1871, 
the Treaty of Washington was signed. By this it was agreed 
that the daims shoidd be setded by a Joint Commission, to 
meet at Geneva, one G>mmissioner to be appointed by the 
Queen, one by the President of the United States, one by 
the King of Italy^ one bv the President of the Swiss Con- 
federation, and one by the Emperor of Brazil. But at the 
banning of 1872 it seemed as if the hopes of a peaceful 
settlement were small. England was roused by the enormous 
amount of the claims for indireft losses from America. 
Happily in the end these were not pressed. The Com- 
mission declared them invalid^ the sittings proceeded, and 
a verdifft wsis at last arrived at, fixing the damages to be 
p^d by England at three and a Quarter million pounds. But, 
at the time when my Father nad to second the Address, 
these claims for indireft damage were just revealing how 
dangnerous the situation between the two great nations 
mi^t at any moment become. In his speech he expressed 
the strong hope that the danger might pass, and that 
America and England might ^^ soon seme their differences 
by a fair and legitimate arbitration." But some few weeks 
later the tension was still great, and on March 9th, 1872, 
my Father embodied a suggestion on the sufcgedk in the 
following letter to Mr. Gladstone, to which he received a 
courteous reply two days later. 

The importance of the American question is my excuse for 
troubling you with this suggestion. I imagine the answer expeded 
in a day or two will be that the American Government cannot 
withdraw the claims, but that there is no intention to press them 
specifically or something to this cfkSt, Would it not be possible 
to say in reply to this, ^ Then show your bona-fide intention not 
to press them by an agreement that the damages shall not exceed 
a certain fixed sum." What this sum should be is quite another 
question, but at all events it might be fixed so as entirely to prwint 
^ indire^ claims growing out of, etc., etc.," being included. 

Amongst the many suggestions for settling this unfortunate 
difficulty, something like the above may have been nude. If so^ I 



264 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

must apologize for troubling you, and beg you not to waste dme 
by a reply. I think there is a growing feeling in the country that 
the American case may have been put. forward in good faith, and 
that if there is not a little yielding on both sides we cannot hope 
for a settlement under the present Treaty. 

My Father did not argue for peace at any price. Indeed 
in 1857 he even opened a discussion at the Y.M.C.A. on 
the question "Is war consistent with Christianity.?** in 
which he maintained that though he did not " for a moment 
think lighdy of the horrors orwar," and though he might 
condemn " those aggressive wars in which increase of terri- 
tory or increase of power at the expense of an opponent 
may be the main objed," yet there were times when wrongs 
done by one nation to another could only be checked by 
the sword. 

But five years later, at a meeting of the Y.M.C.A., he 
strongly warned his hearers about " the frightful war spirit 
which is apparendy rife in the world.'* It was at the time^ 
just alluded to, when the Civil War was raging in America, 
and when our own Country had narrowly escaped a rupture 
with the United States. 

War is sometimes, [my Father continued in the same speech,] 
an imperious and frightful necessity, but the feeling which di^tes 
much of our newspaper literature, and which would instil into our 
young men a desire for military glory for its own sake, is not the 
genius of Christianity. Christianity may accept a war as the last 
rearfiil alternative to guard a home and treasure dearer than, life 
itself; but it does not say, ^^Oh, let*s have a brush with the Ameri- 
cans and give those rascally Northerners a licking,*' and it is that 
spirit which I fear is making way amongst our young men, and 
which an Association like olirs must help to check. 

It was said by some that those who looked forward to 
the time when war should cease were visionary men. My 
Father's reply to this was : 

It would be a dull world without such men. What is the mean- 



FIRST PARLIAMENT 1 871— 1874 265 

ing of visionary men but men who have seen ahead of other 
people? 

At a meeting on International Arbitration, held in Nor- 
wich in 1873, after the Alabama Claims had been finally 
settled, he rejoiced that the ^^ question may now be con- 
sidered, not the dream of visionaries, but one for the 
practical statesmanship for the day/* He continued : 

I cannot for the life of me understand the way in which some 
men speak of arbitration, as if it were something mean and cowardly. 
To my mind it is a far nobler speAade than to see two armies 
fighting to the death. 

He believed the escape of the ship Alabama to have 
been " a grievous wrong to America," not " a wilful one 
on the part of the authorities, but a real one neverthe- 
less,** and one demanding reparation, and he felt that 
"the patience with which Mr. Gladstone's Government, 
through good and evil report, carried the Treaty and its 
intention through, will long be remembered when many of 
the sharp and bitter things that were said of them are 
happily forgotten." In another place he spoke of it as 
" one of the grandest things Parliament has ever accom- 
plished/; 

He said in 1892 that if there were any of his votes in 
Parliament he regarded with more satisfadHon than others, 
it was those in favour of International Arbitration. He 
looked back to the time, only 45 years earlier, when the 
Duke of Wellington, then Premier, " felt it his duty to 
fight a duel, and seems to have thought the Government of 
the country could not have been carried on under the cir- 
cumstances of the case unless he had sent the challenge/* 
But he looked forward to the time when '^ as the days of 
duelling have passed, so will the days of wanton and need- 
less war.** 

My Father had little faith in the belief that a large army 
is essential for maintaining peace, believing, on we con- 
trary, that it is often provocative of war. His theory was 



266 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

that other countries could retaliate in a similar way, and 
that: 

Big armies are like lawyers — where one cannot exist, two can 
get a good living. 

So, with armies, there was always the danger of their 
seeking work to do, and he feared there was sometimes a 
" disposition to turn defence into defiance." Nor did he 
believe that more deadly appliances would check war: 

It is said that when the Inventor of one of our modern guns was 
displaying its power some one said to him ^ You are making vrar 
too horrible to contemplate," and his reply was, ^ No, I am making 
war impossible." Now that plan of making war impossible by 
improving arms has been tried so long that the world is getting 
weary of it. • . • This game of inventing something stronger than 
our neighbour has not answered. King Uzziah (2 Chron. xxvi, 
14-15) tried it 26 or 27 centuries ago, and that is quite a long 
enough trial. 

In 1 87 1 he declined to sign a memorial calling a meeting 
in favour of a system of ^^ Universal Instru&ion in Arms 
for the People of this Country,*' and five years later ex- 
pressed the belief that '^ the military training in schools is 
an element of danger which needs to be yarded against.** 
He did not think that England's one objed should be to 
extend her Empire: 

I am inclined to think, [he said in a speech in 1891,] that politi- 
cally this country has quite enough in hand without feeling that 
we have to subjugate the world to the influence of England. 

The Jingo spirit was very much opposed to his own 
ideas, and he never changed his opinion. As late as 1896, 
when asked if his Company would join some Empire 
League, an outcome of the Imperial Federation movement, 
his reply was that though it seemed to him ^^ that the ten- 
dency to draw the English-speaking peoples together is 
stronger now than it was in i889^*'.yet^'as to the wisdom 



FIRST PARLIAMENT 1 871— 1874 267 

of Joining this particular League *' he thought it would be 
wdl to ascertain first ^ if there are firms akeady belong- 
ing who are above the suspicion of any Jingo taint/* 

In 1872 the question of Jamaica, and Governor Eyre's 
condu<5l during the troubles there in 1 865, was again before 
the House in me form of a Motion to allow the ex-Governor 
his legal expenses incurred in his trial. The strong feeling 
roused against the General, so ably voiced by John Stuart 
Mill, for the severity of the measures taken by him to 
suppress the Insurredion of the Negroes, found a sym- 
pathizer in my Father, who expressed his views on this 
occasion by voting against the Motion. 

My Father was a warm admirer of Mr. Henry Richard, 
M.P., and supported his Peace Resolutions in the House of 
Commons. His death occurred with starding suddenness in 
1888, when on a visit to Mr. Richard Davies at Treborth, 
and my Father, who had left this house only a day or so 
before, wrote afterwards : 

I had left Treborth a few hours before he died, and shall always 
feel those few days I spent with him inspiring as an example of 
what a man's life and its close should be. 

He recalled a drive, taken with their Host and Hostess 
the previous Saturday, which ^' took us literally amidst the 
hills and waters of Wales,** when the conversation turned 
on Age, and Mr. Richard said, ^^ People should not live 
too long/' My Father added : 

We litde thought what was so soon coming, but, knowing how 
fully aware he was of his uncertain hold of life, I have felt since that 
the remark was a significant one, made as it was with cheerfulness 
and content. ... It was, I think, a real expression of what he felt. 
He would not have wished to live a useless life, or one a burden 
to others. 



CHAPTER XVII 

SECOND PARLIAMENT 
1874 1880: AGED 43 49 

(conservative administration) 

MY Father's second Parliamentaiy contest was in 1 8 74. 
The General Election came with startling sudden- 
ness, though it was known it could not be long delaved. 
The G>nservative candidates for Norwich were Mr. Huddle- 
ston, Q.C., and Sir Henry Stracey, Bart. ^^^ 

My Father nearly retired from the candidature^ " Two 
days before the nomination," he wrote afterwards, « I was 
very near giving up the fight." Sir William Russell, the 
Whig member, retired, and my Father felt strongly that it 
was unfair for the Radical seAion of the Liberal party to 
put forward both candidates. Indeed, the previous Novem- 
ber, he had stated strongly that he felt he and Mr. Tillett 
were ^^ too much identified on ecclesiastical and many other 
questions " to make their joint candidature •* right or ex- 
pedient," and, further, that such a step would be "contrary 
to the fair and honourable understanding" entered into 
with the Whigs, that " if the advanced sedtion of the Liberal 
party name one candidate, the old sedition should name 
anodier." He recognized, " most completely," the right of 
the Radicals to put forward Mr. Tillett (whose disabilities 
were now removed) in his place, in which case he promised 
to do his "best in supporting him." But he resolutely 
declined to stand with Mr. Tillett, until after the Whigs 
had tried to get a candidate, but feiled. My Mother rc- 

a68 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 269 

counted the state of afiairs in a letter to her brother Herbert, 
on February 3rd) 1874: 

For three days our troubles and perplexities were very great, and 
Jeremiah was strongly tempted to throw up the whole thing. He 
felt pledged to the Whigs that he should not stand with Mr. Tillett, 
as he had told Sir Wm. Foster only last November . . • that 
they would not stand together. ... So when Monday evening 
(Jan: 26th) came, and no W hig Candidate came forwanL the point 
arose as to what must be done. Many strong, earnest Radicals of 
the trustworthy sort begged Jeremiah to allow himself to stand with 
Mr. Tillett, but he remained firm n9i to do so until the Whigs had 
had more time to find a Candidate, or had fiilly liberated him from 
his pledge. 

Attempts to get a Whig candidate failed. 

So by Wednesday, [my Mother continued,] Sir William liber- 
rated Jeremiah entirely from his pledge, and Mr. Birkbeck strongly 
advised him to stand with Mr. Tillett. If he had not done this, 

said he would bring down two working men to contest the 

seat, and as they say he can carry many himdred votes, perhaps a 
thousand, this would have no doubt let in two Tories* 

As a counterblast to some of the ladies on the Conserva- 
tive side, who ^Mash about in their flaring colours, and 
canvass, etc.,** my Mother recounted: 

Our party said that I must drive about, so on Saturday and yester- 
day I have been with the children all about the City and bye-ways, 
not to ^^ compel them to come in," but to see if the sight of a blue 
and white party of ladies and children would carry any votes of the 
free and independent electors 1 ! On Friday evening I went to the 
great meeting in the Hall, and was nearly sufibcated with heat, but 
bore it as a martyr for the good of the Liberal cause ! . . . The 
Liberals are very hopeful of winning both seats, and if one Tory 
gets in, it will no doubt be Huddleston. • . . Jeremiah looks very 
tired this morning, having been to four meetings on Saturday night 
and five last night. I am so grateful to Gladstone for the short 
notice ! 

There was great excitement over the contest. Mr. Tillett 
afterwards described it as ^* a wild Election.** A large num- 



272 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

the paper says^ I suppose there will be a Commission. If so^ this 
will entail heavy expense on the Ratepayers, many of whom axe 
innocent women, and all for the sake of proving what every one 
must now admit, that the Norwich constituency is a fearfully cor- 
rupt one. My hope is that the Writ will be suspended till the next 
General Elenion. I am so glad Jeremiah walked to see you on 
Sunday, for being all alone I know he would feel very depressed 
after receiving the mortifying news, and it would cheer him to 
have your sympathy and advice. 

Mr. Justice Lush reported that, as the inquiry had ended 
hy Mr. T illett*s withdrawing his defence when evidence 
respedting only two out of eight wards had been taken, he 
was not in a position to state as an ascertained tauSt that 
corrupt praftices did ^^ extensively prevail." But, he added: 

Inasmuch as it was proved that ii6 persons were **set on** or 
entered as messengers in the 7th Ward, nearly all of whom were 
voters, and 36 in dhe 2nd Ward, many of whom were voters, that 
such employment was considered the ordinary practice at an Elec- 
tion, was resorted to by both parties, and excused, if not justified, 
as a necessity, I see no reason to doubt that what was done in these 
wards was done in the others, and I am therefore of opinion that 
there is reason to believe that corrupt pradices did extensively pre- 
vail at such Election. 

The Attorney-General, following the usual precedent, 
therefore moved for a Royal Commission to inquire into 
the corrupt praftices in Norwich. The Commissioners were 
Mr. J. M. rioward, Q.C., Mr. Patrick McMahon (who 
died before the Report was issued), and Mr. G. P. Goldney. 
They began their sittinfi^s in August, 1875, and inquiries 
were made into the Eiedion of 1874 as well as that of 
1875. 

My Father's mortification and distress when he first 
learned of the " Messenger Trick," as it was termed, was 
great He had no suspicion of it ^' in any shape or form," 
as he told the Commissioners, until the early part of 1875, 
when there was a Municipal Bye-£ledion, and a relative 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 273 

then told him he had heard ^^ there was a tendency to too 
much employment on both sides/' Among all the charges 
and countercharges, statements and contradi<flions, that came 
out at the time of the Commission, this at least seems 
clear, that if the one side was bad the other was certainly 
no better. How far the system of colourable employment 
extended was a question of much contention. The diffi- 
culty of ascertaining how many messengers had been em- 
ployed, how many were necessary in view of the belief 
held, whether righdy or wrongly, that the Post Office 
Authorities would not undertake the distribution of Elec- 
tion Literature, how far the money was accepted for bona 
fide work done, and how far as it given with an ulterior 
motive — these and other points all made it difficult to 
estimate. the evil. It must be remembered that before the 
Corrupt Praftices AA of 1883, with its stringent provisions 
for publishing accounts in detail, it was very much more 
difficidt for candidates, even with the best intentions in the 
world, to discover anything improper in the condud of 
their EleAions. Still my Father frankly admitted, on the 
evidence brought to light before the Commissioners, that 
there had been colourable employment on the part of the 
Liberals as well as of the Conservatives in the EleAion of 
1874, which, it need hardly be said, he deeply regretted. 

In notes for a speech in the House of Commons on the 
Norwich and Boston Corrupt Voters Bill, when it was pro- 
posed to suspend the Writ for the Norwich Election for a 
certain period, he gave his views on the situation: 

Mr. Speaker, I am sure I shall not ask in vain the indulgence of 
the House in the difficult position in which I find myself placed. 
My duty is two-fold — on the one hand to say nothing which may 
seem even indire£Uy to palliate illegal or corrupt pradices, and on 
the other hand to put my borough and constituents in a proper 
light before the House and the Country. . . . 

That any of my constituents, whether friends or opponents, 
should have overstepped the limits within which an Election 
should legally and fiurly be conducted I greatly deplore. 

T 



274 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

, But it was only fair the House should remember, he 
said, ^^ that Her Majesty's Commissioners have expressed 
their satisfaction that neither treating, intimidation, nor 
direA money bribery were resorted to by either party." 

Some seats in this House are very easy and comfortable ones, 
[my Father continued,] where one political party has paramount 
influence which the odier party does not care to dispute* Hon. 
Members who occupv such seats are very much to be envied. 
Very litde of personal or party feeling enters into their Eledions; 
and I doubt not there are some honourable gendemen here who 
know only from report what a sharply contested Election is, and 
the feeling it produces. Unfortunately, Norwich is not a place of 
this sort. . . . 

Coming now to the general hSts as to Norwich, I may state 
that under the enlarged franchise there have been 5 contested 
Eledions; and that the results of the enquiries relative thereto 
may be summed up broadly thus : that no dire£l money-bribery 
has been discovered except in 1 868, but that in the last two Elec- 
tions there has been excessive, or, to use the phrase of the Com- 
missioners, ^ colourable '* employment. 

Now, Sir, as to the bribery in 1868, it was committed by certain 
of my political opponents (with the exception of the single aA of 
an agent mt bis own^ but the agent of the candidate with whom 
he coalesced), and there is no doubt that it was flagrant in char- 
after, but I am bound to say that it was not serious in extent. • . • 
I believe it to have been the aft of but a few individuals; and I 
feel convinced that the results were of such a nature as to prevent 
such a praftice ever being again resorted to. . . . 

Regarding the single remaining corrupt praftice, colourable em- 
ploymenty.I can only repeat what I said to the Commissioners 
themselves, that I believed both parties had been led astray, but that 
good would come from the enquiry. . . . 

The state of affairs in Norwich, after all, had much im- 
proved, and the cost of Eleftions, which my Father main-^ 
tained was a fair index of their purity or otherwise, showed 
that many other places needed reforming as much as, or 
more than, Norwich. Legislation on the subjeft was needed 
for other places besides his own City, and he had sugges- 
tions to make on the subjeft: 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 275 

If this House will do one or two very simple tfaines it may do 
more to stop corruption than in whole sessions passed in framing 
A&s which lawyers afterwards find out are so constructed as to de- 
fine, but not pimish, pradices which are ^* illegal, but not corrupt, 
and do not void the seat." Let uniformity and explicitness in 
Election accounts, with adequate publicity for the details, be in- 
sisted on ; let it be enaded that any subsequent payment shall be 
deemed corrupt, and void the seat; and a great step will have been 
made towards securing the purity of Elections. 

Let me use my own case as illustrating this point. The Com- 
missioners pressed me, not unfairly, as to why I did not put my 
hand on this particular item of expenditure for messengers. I could 
only reply that the accounts were not sufficiently dear, several 
items being put together, so that this particular one, not standing 
out by itself, did not attract attention or excite surprise. • • . 

Then again as to after-payments. Unfortunately both in my 
own case and in that of niv former colleague [Baron Huddleston], 
now removed from this House to a serener sphere, we had some 
experience. If the truth is to be told, published returns do not 

five the whole cost, and I fear a good many members of this 
louse must confess that after-payments have been heard of in 
other places than Norwich. To leave this matter in its present 
state is not fair to candidates or constituents. If a man refuses 
to make such payments, he is appealed to whether he can allow 
a friend, who has wished to serve him, to lose and suffer. He is 
appealed to as a man of honour, and in nine cases out of ten he 
is forced to pay, being told, and truly told, that the lawyers say, 
in their own phraseology, *^ it is only illegal— -not corrupt." If 
the House will say such payments shall not be made — that in- 
stead of being debts of honour they shall be deemed payments 
of dishonour — our Election laws will be relieved of a blot, and 
our political contests will be brought a long step nearer purity. 

One other susgesdon I will venture to make with reference to 
^ colourable employ ment " — that it should be compulsory upon agents 
to hand in lists of all persons paid for Ele^on purposes^ the names 
of such persons to be struck off the lists at the polling booths, so 
as to make it impossible for them to vote; and that the omission 
of paid agents of any sort from such lists should void the seat . . . 
I trust this House will hesitate before it deprives the City which 
I have the honour to represent of the right of self-government, 
which was accorded to it more than 8 centuries ago by Charter 



2^6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

of Henry I, and thus take away from a lar^e body of respedable 
and incorruptible voters one of the principal attributes of citizen- 
ship. But I am sure I may with confidence leave that asped of the 
matter to the right feeling of this honourable House, when I have 
mentioned that even the Commissioners' estimate of the number 
of venal voters, which I have excellent reasons for believing is much 
too large, leaves more than five-sixths of one of the largest con- 
stituencies in Eneland without the slightest imputation on their 
elefloral honour. This is clearly seen^ even from the results 
arrived at by the enquiry, for a sufficient number of honest votes 
was given to neutralize all the efforts made by those who sought 
to corrupt the constituency. . . . 

I should be wanting in candour if I did not recognize the bBt 
that the Government has not shown any disposition to use its 
power for severely and harshly punishing a City which has not ex- 
hibited much sympathy with it; and I may be permitted to say that 
the penalty which it proposes to inflid will in my judgment Adly 
meet the justice of the case. 

Let me not be understood to plead that Norwich should be 
whitewashed, ft>r on one side a corrupt intention was confessed, 
but I do ask that she may not be condemned as the sole ofl[ender 
against electoral purity. • . . 

I would submit that Norwich labours under disadvantages un- 
known to some other constituencies. Her politicians of past gen- 
erations have addidled themselves to indefensible practices which 
have become traditional, and it takes a long time for traditions to 
die out in Norwich, for she is an old-world City, lying as it were 
in a comer, very much out of the way of modern and progressive 
influences. Nevertheless, considerable progress has been made, and 
that even in the present generation. The old traditions are dying 
out : money-bribery is gone, treating is but a shadow, and intimida- 
tion has departed. Among other old Election observances, the 
chairing of members, which gave rise to scenes of riot and con- 
fusion, such as are so graphic^ly described in the recolle£Hons of 
Lord Albemarle,' has been discontinued. ... I have mjrself, in 
my early days, witnessed scenes in comparison with which even 
the ridiculously exaggerated descriptions of the incidents of recent 
contests seem tame and spiritless. And now, as a last blow at the 



* The toul number of voters on the Register was 14,953. 

• •* Fifty Years of my Life," by George Thomas, Earl of A 



Albemarle. 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 277 

irregularities onee so common, I believe that Her Majesty's Com- 
missioners have given its quietus to the last remaining corrupt 
praflice they could find, colourable emplojrment. • • . 

If I have any influence on future political contests, whether as 
candidate or eledor, it shall be my earnest endeavour to join with 
the best men on both sides to remove the stigma that now attaches 
to her name, so that she may have the honour of being equal in 
purity to any constituency in the kingdom. I believe such a con- 
summation possible, and more devoutly to be wished than any 
party triumph — a result more to be desired than even the honour 
of a seat in this House. 

My Father, when giving evidence before the Commis- 
sioners, made several additional suggestions for ensuring 
the purity of EleAions, which he had drawn up after con- 
sultation with his brother-in-law, Sydney Cozens-Hardy. 
These were: 

1. To prohibit the use of public-houses as Committee 
Rooms (except with the Returning Officer's sandion, if no 
private room were available) ; 

2. To prohibit the distribution of voting cards or cir- 
culars to voters individually, the formal instruAions about 
votingbeing sent by the SheriiF; 

3. To prohibit the preparation of street lists of voters 
and canvas books (by whatsoever name called) for the 
direA purposes of the Eleftion ; 

4. To have stringent regulations as to bands and pro- 
cessions ; 

5. To legalize the employment of cabs in boroughs (the 
law then bemg vague, and different for county and borough 
constituencies) ; 

6. To allow no person to be twice on the register ; 

7. To empower the Eleftion Judges or Commissioners 
to place the costs of an Enquiry on whatever parties were 
guUty of corruption. 

It will be seen that he was most anxious for some drastic 
changes in the conduA of Eledions. No one welcomed 



278 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

the Corrupt Praftices Aft of 1883 more than he did, em- 
bodying as it did many of his own ideas. 

He told the Commissioners, when asked if he could 
** see a way out of the difficulty that exists in conducing 
Eleftions in Norwich," that he did see one, " if the Can- 
didates will come to an honourable understanding that the 
expenditure should not exceed a certain sum, and that they 
will not pay anything beyond that sum." He said he was 
quite prepared to enter into such an engagement with his 
opponents, and was " willing, if necessaryi mat the expenses 
should go through a joint Committee of Conservatives and 
Liberals, and let them take the contributions from the Can- 
didates on either side." The Commissioners pressed him 
further on this point. 

^ Suppose afterwards you found that you had been led into dis- 
honourable expenditure, would you feel bound as a man of honour 
to pay it i A. I should feel bound not to pay if an arrangement of 
that sort had been made. 

Would you resign your seat? A. Certainly. 
''he Chairman. It would be a most magnificent thing to do, and 
I believe you would do it. 

One thing my Father was clear about, that in future he 
would do his utmost to check the lavish expenditure, which 
had charafterized the EleAion of 1874, and" which he told 
the Commissioners he extremely regretted. 

That there was a lavish expenditure I fully believe, [he told 
them,] and that it is most obje£tionable. I suspected lavish ex- 
penditure, but as to deliberate corruption I did not anticipate it. 

These suspicions about lavish expenditure, it is only fair 
to my Father to state, were roused before the Commission 
b^[an, and indeed before the Petition which preceded it. 
In December, 1874, he began to make enquiries, when he 
found that the total joint expenses of the Liberal Candi- 
dates (including everything) amounted to nearly ;£4,500, 
much more than he had anticipated. He would have en- 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 279 

quired earlier, but a heavy extra pressure of work, partly 
caused by the death of a Partner, and his own ill<-healdi, 
helped to cause the delay. Though assured that no pay- 
ments of a corrupt nature had been sandioned, yet he was, 
he said, *' driven to the conclusion that an expenditure was 
incurred, which I, as one of the Gmdidates, would not have 
san&ioned," and that ^^ the whole way through, down to 
sub-agents and clerks, a system of lavish expenditure has 
grown up, which I cannot but regard as demoralizing to 
the Constituency, and which threatens to sink us lower 
unless vigorously checked/' He was determined on his 
course of aftion* Writing three years later, he said of it : 

It is only by such resolutions as I have made about the purse 
strings that Norwich matters can be got right, and I mean to get 
them right as fiir as I can do so, and not allow, or be liable ror, 
improper outlays such as the ^74 £le£tion undoubtedly was. 

It was an intense satisfaftion to my Father to feel that 
at the next Eledion, in 1880, his hopes were realized. He 
was able to write afterwards : 

In Norwich we emancipated ourselves entirely, on our side, from 
this heavy expenditure, just before the AA that compelled the limi- 
tation of expenses came into force. 

The Liberals then forestalled this Adt, by reducing the 
sum to within a little of the amount allowed by it They 
limited their cavalcade to a modest carriage and pair, dis- 
pensed with bands, torches, processions, and the customary 
machinery of a Norwich EleAion, had only one Central 
Committee Room, and trusted to volunteer workers instead 
of paid agents. Several years later, in a letter to Mr. R. S. 
Wright, referring to the joint expenses of both Liberal 
Candidates at that Eledion, my Father wrote: 

Fortunately we have turned over a new leaf, and the expenses 
of Mr. Tillett and myself in 1880 were under £iyS00j^ and m^m* 

aalid ixpenditure beyond it 

. ■ » — 

^ This should be £1jSS^ ^9^' S^- 



28o JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Their opponents, on the other hand, both strangers to 
Norwich, had to say goodbye to the City, meditating over 
a substantial defeat, and a stall more substantial bill* Those 
who can recall that Election will remember the "Dance 
of the Demon Figures : A Woeful Ballad," which appeared 
after the Contest, and assumed a prominent place in the 
Election literature of the day, with its refrain referring to 
the four figures in the total of this bill : 

A great black 6, a great black 4, and a great black 9, and a 3. 

AJl the masquerading side of Eledions was very contrary 
to my Father's wishes. He pleaded for political earnestness 
with which to counterad it. Speaking in 1876, he said: 

I want that the steam of our politics should not depend upon 
purple or blue lights, or outriders, or bespeaks at the Circus ; but 
that on both sides, whether Conservative or Liberal, there should 
be some strong political feeling. 

Processions and torches he abhorred. Alluding to one 
procession in the 1874 Eledion, he told the Conunis- 
sioners: 

I said when I got home that I never felt such a fool in my life, 
and I hoped I should never be in one again. 

In 1895, in declining a request for some torches, he 
wrote: 

it is quite true that there have been torches used at Norwich 
£le£Hons many years ago, but I always protested against their use, 
and since the Corrupt rradices Ad forbade the payment of such 
expenses, I have uniformly declined to have anything to do with 
torchlight processions. The spirit of that Ad is clearly against the 
use of torches and banners— and I think wisely so — ^and I could, 
therefore, come to no other decision than to decline your request. 

And on one occasion, when a distinguished Liberal 
Politician visited Norwich, and a torchlight procession was 
organized in his honour, my Father resolutely declined to 
take part in it. 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 281 

Parliament decided^ on the Report of the Norwich Elec- 
tion Commissioners issued in the spring of 1 876, to suspend 
the Writ for filling the vacant seat during that Parliament, 
so the CitfT was partially disfranchised, being represented 
by one Member only until 1880. 

The second Parliament in which niy Father had a seat, 
between 1874 and 1880, was very different from the first 
Mr. Gladstone immediately resigned after the verdift of the 
constituencies, and Mr. DisraeU became Prime Minister. 
My Father's opinion was: 

He has a majority of 60 at his back, while a large portion of our 
minority are Irish members on which we cannot depend. I there- 
fore believe we are going to have a pretty long run of Tories in 
office. 

In January, 1875, Mr. Gladstone retired from the leader- 
ship of the Liberal Party, his place as Leader in the House 
of Commons being taken by Lord Hartington. In a letter 
to Mr. A. J. Mundella, M.r., just at that time, my Father 
wrote: 

Don't you sometimes feel disposed to follow his example, and 
say that there is something better to do and live for than the strife 
or Political parties? 

Still, if he sighed sometimes for a life free from poli- 
tical worries, he did not give up the struggle. Only two 
days later he wrote: 

With reduced numbers and the loss of Mr. Gladstone as leader 
some may despair, but I have faith still in the future. 

He bade his hearers, in a speech about the same time, 
not to give way to inadion: 

Suppose the Liberal Party forgets for a moment the question of 
its leader, and thinks of its policy and its duty. The Hour will 
bring the Man. It brought Mr. Gladstone a few years ago, and for 
aught I know it may bring him again, should his life and health 
be spared. « • • 



282 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

The onljr thing that makes me sometimes anxious is the lassitude 
which sometimes comes over people who have no earnest political 
aspiration. ... I would sooner see a faith in political questions 
wrongly direded than none at all. . . . Don't take your creed 
from the fashion of the hour, from the talk in the shop, the gossip 
in the public-house or fadory, but think it out, and study it for 
yourselves. 

The first Session of the new Parliament, that of 1874, 
was not a very remarkable one. There was a Licensing 
Aft, mv Father's comment being that " if the objeftionable 
part of that Bill had not been withdrawn, it would never 
have become the law of the land," and a Public Worship 
Regulation Aft, to which, he said, " as a Nonconformist I 
have given my support, because I believe it to be an honest 
eflfbrt to put down the frightful evils of Ritualism in our 
midst," though he afterwards declared that " it will reouire 
something much holier and stronger than the Public Wor- 
ship Regulation Aft to quench Ritualism ; in a word, it 
will require Free Church rrotestantism, such as Noncon- 
formists hold." He supported Mr. Trevelyan*s Motion 
for extending the Household Suffrage to the Counties, a 
Motion which was lost by 287 to 173. 

In a speech delivered to the 3rd Ward Liberal Associa- 
tion my Father reviewed the political work of 1875. He 
described the Session as " not altogether an idle one." The 
Artisans' Dwelling Aft (giving Corporations, under certain 
conditions, compulsory powers of purchase for improve- 
ments, and facilities for providing accommodation for the 
Working Classes) he believed was " on the whole a good 
Aft," and the Labour Afts passed that Session he thought 
woiild do good. He added: 

The Conservative Government claims them, and I am sure we 
do not wish in any way to disparage their work; but it should be 
borne in mind that they were not unassisted by the Liberals. 

My Father approved the principle of giving compen- 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874—1880 283 

sation for tenants' improvements, embodied in the Agri- 
cultural Holdings Aft passed in 1 875, though his comment 
on it was: 

But the House took care, or somebody took care, to put in at 
the end a h'ttle clause that a landlord could contract himself out 
of the A€t if he wishes. I need not say that landlords, as a rule, 
do so. 

The Friendly Societies Bill, passed that Session, he 
described as *• a step in the right diredion," 

One subjeft that roused much opposition in the Recess, 
leading to its withdrawal, was the Fugitive Slave Circular, 
ordering British captains to restore to their owners slaves 
who came on board British ships. Though the law had 
been the same it had remained virtually dead* 

But, [to quote my Father's words,] it has remained for the present 
cKCupants of the Treasury Bench, who have been ever singing the 
praises of their own party as in an especial sense guardians of the 
English flag, to proclaim before the civilized, and I think I mav 
say uncivilized world, that a slave, free when he steps beneath 
our flag on English soil, is still a slave if he only finds that flag on 
an English ship. 

In the autumn of 1876 my Father asked the question, 
"But what has become of the Session? What have we done?" 
His answer was: 

Well, we began, or rather the Premier began, the Session by 
transforming the Queen into an Empress ; and the Session ended 
by the Queen's making the Premier into an Earl. We did a few 
things besides that. 

My Father had voted against the Bill giving the Queen 
this tide. In one speech he said of it: 

After all it may be found that this title, which was carried through 
with such a high hand, may not redound to the honour and stability 
of the Empire, though we were told in the House of Commons 
that ^ch was to be its effe£L In the fiice of the fearAd Indian 



284 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

femine, it will be seriously asked of the Government why money 
has been spent lavishly, as far as we can judge^ on this very empty 
title. 

One piece of legislation that year, with which he sym- 
pathized, was the Merchant Shipping; Bill, a measure forced 
on the Government by Mr. PlimsoU, which inaugurated a 
better time for merchant seamen, by giving some critmon 
as to the state of vessels sent to sea. My Mother was 
keenly interested in this. Writing to her husband from 
Gorton, she said: 

We see too much of the sea not to feel for the poor sailors. I 
am glad you are staying to support PlimsoU. I care more for his 
Bill than all the hundred and one other measures which the House 
has passed this Session. I wonder Norwich has not had a meeting 
about it as the chief City of three sea-hoard counties. Surely we have 
more interest in the well-being of sailors than places like Birming- 
ham, but I fear Norwich is not so easily roused by philanthropic 
objeds as by political squabbles. At any rate, I hope to see a speech 
from you in Friday's paper I 

Amongst other subjefts in the House of Gammons that 
Session were ' Mr. Osborne Morgan's Burial Bill and a 
Motion for the Abolition of Flogging in the Navy, both of 
which my Father supported, and the usual Motion for the 
adjournment for the Derby, which he opposed, as he did 
systematically. 

The interest and anxiety of the Session of 1877 centred 
round the Eastern question, and the impending war between 
Russia and Turkey. 

The Spring of 1876 had witnessed a rising in Bulgaria 
against Turkish nde, which was suppressed with fiendish 
cruelty by the Turks. Mr. Gladstone came out of his 
retirement to rouse the country on the question' of the 
Bulgarian Atrocities and the inhumanity of Turkish rule. 
Meetings were held in many parts of the country, and early 
in September a Common Hall was held at Norwich on the 
subjeft, attended by men of all parties and creeds. It fell 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 285 

to my Father's lot to move the chief resolution. In his 
speech he said: 

The objed of this meeting is not to embarrass the Government^ 
but to strengthen its hands* We must not omit from our recollec- 
tions that Eastern afEairs are rather a tangled skein. Twenty years 
ago the English nation was almost to a man in favour of the main- 
tenance of the Turkish Empire as against Russia. . . . Men change 
their opinions^ parties change their cry, and circumstances may 
make nations change their views. I imagine that the English nation 
has resolved this — that she will not now go to war to maintain the 
Turkish Empire. . . • 

As pradical men, we ask that the Turkish Government should 
do some things that may be unpleasant to them, but which they 
ought to be made to do. We desire that compensation should be 
given by the Turkish Government to the survivors in this fearful 
struegle. We desire, again, guarantees that the peace of Europe 
shalinot again be disturbed by oppression on the part of the Turicbh 
Government And, as I have read from the leading articles of the 
^ Times,*' Great Britain has the right and the duty to speak at the 
present moment. We desire another thing, and that is that those 
who have been guilty of these atrocities-^the individuals themselves 
— should be brought to condign punishment 

But how is this to be done ? Are we to declare war ? I am not 
for throwing that fearful responsibility upon a meeting of this sort, 
nor am I desirous that the Parliament of England should take upon 
itself such a fearful responsibility without due consideration. Bat 
we have a right to ask our Ambassador in Constantinople, and to 
press upon the Government of this country, to use its diplomatic 
endeavours to enforce these demands upon the Turkish Govern- 
ment. • • . I am not here to say that this country is prepared to 
declare war on this question; but I am prepared to say this — we 
have a great armv and a great fleet, we have seen in history how 
armies and fleets have been moved to support dynasties or to main- 
tain our material interests, and this much I may also say that there 
are crises — and there may be crises again — when we may have to 
do something more with our army and our fleet than simply to 
maintain the material interests of this country. I pray God this 
crisis may never come. ... I trust that by diplomatic endeavoiu^ 
these fearfiil atrocities will be put to an end. ... I have strong 
hope that the Government of this country, backed as it will be by 



286 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

a united people, will be able, without the intervention of anns, to 
bring peace and prosperity to our fellow-Christians in Turkey. 

This then was abundantly clear — ^that if the fearful al- 
ternative of force of arms had to be used, mjr Father had 
no hesitation in saying that, whatever we had done in the 
past to bolster up the Turkish Government, this time all 
our influence should be used to check its cruelties. 

The country, for a time, was deeply roused against 
Turkey, and roused, my Father felt, by high motives. In 
a speech delivered to his constituents towards the end of 
January, 1877, he said he declined to believe it was roused 
only by disappointed bondholders, who could ndt get the 
interest on their money. 

But doubts had already been raised whether . the Prime 
Minister's sympathies were not on the side of Turkey. At 
that time, when Mr. Gladstone declared the countiy was 
waiting for the decision of the Ministry, my Father said: 

I do not know whether for many years past any more solemn 
issue has been presented to the House of Commons than will come 
before us in the discussion on the Turkish question. 

The "solemn issue" came before the House of Gammons 
in May, shordy after the declaration of war between Russia 
and Turkey, when Mr. Gladstone moved a Resolution — 
one of a series of which some were dropped— <ondemning 
the conduft of Turkey. My Father wrote of it to his wife 
the following day. May 8 th: 

You will have seen in the papers the description of last night's 
scene in the House — a most extraordinary one, and one which, it 
is to be hoped, will not be repeated for many a long day. 

He was one of those who voted with Mr. Gladstone in 
the minority of 223 against 354. Earlier in the year he 
had said: 

I hope that the coming Session will at all events show that some 
considerable portion of the English House of Commons has no 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 287 

of Russia, if Russia is prepared to do that which is right 
and honouraUe towards the Christians who live near her. 

It was never my Father's policy to anathematize his op- 
ponents. Thus, while totally opposed to Lord Beaconsfield*s 
policy at this junAure, he had the honesty to remind his 
hearers (in a speech delivered in January, 1878) that he 
was not unmindful of the fed ** that during the American 
war, Lord Beaconsfield, the then leader of his party in the 
House of Commons, did his country good service in check- 
ing the efforts of many of his party to drag this country 
into an interference between the Northern and Southern 
States." At the same time on the present crisis my Father 
expressed his opinions strongly, believing that : 

There is a suspicion, whether right or wrongs that Lord Beacons- 
field is determined on a warlike policy, whilst the country is deter- 
mined upon a policy of neutrality. 

He felt that if the Premier were allowed to force this 
countrv into a war it did not wish for,^ it would mean ** a 
despotism such as no free country would permit," and he 
hoped the Constituencies would express their feelings so 
strongly *^ that no Ministry would dare to drag the country 
into such an infernal conflii^ as that wquld be which we 
must vrage if we fight on behalf of Turkey." 

Soon afterwards, on February 8th, 1878, a vote was 
taken in the Hbuse of Commons on the Grant of six 
millions, asked for by the Ministry towards the expenses 
of *< increasing the efficiency of the Naval and Military 
Services at the present crisis of the war between Russia 
and Turkey." The Debate had been a long one, and the 
tension was great. On February 5th my Father had written 
to my Mother : 

The Debate as you sec " drags its slow length along,** but will 
not close to-night. Gladstone spoke extremely well last night, and 
to a crowded House all the time. We are to be beaten by a very 
big majority — such is the talk. 



288 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

The talk was correft, for the Motion was carried by 328 
to 124, my Father voting in the minority. He explained 
to his Constituents a week or two later : 

I voted against that 6 Millions without any hesitation, because I 
believe it was the best way to keep this country out of war. Con- 
servatives think differendy, and are entitled to their opinion. But 
when Conservatives say that Liberals are unpatriotic, and not Eng- 
lishmen, then Liberals have cause to complain of them for using sudi 
language because they do not agree with them. 

He quoted the saying in " Punch " with regard to the 
Jingoism, which received its name at that time, to the efiFed 
that, according to Johnson, Patriotism meant "Love of 
one's own country," but according to the Jingo it meant 
" Love of other people's countries." On another occasion 
he said the word Patriotism was too often used merely as 
a synonym for a man's own view, reminding him of the 
old definition: "Orthodoxy is my doxy, heterodoxy is 
other men's doxy." 

It will be obvious that my Father had no faith in Lord 
Beaconsfield's leadership. And when the latter returned 
from Berlin in 1878, after the Berlin Treaty had been 
setded, when the much^vaunted "Peace with Honour" 
was proclaimed, when secret treaties were revealed by which 
England had undertaken to defend Turkey against Russian 
aggression in Asia, Turkey in return undertaking certain 
reforms in Asia Minor (which many felt would exist only 
on paper), when England had added Cyprus to her pos- 
sessions, and indignation against Turkey had cooled before 
the fears of Russian aggrandisement, his distrust of the 
Premier's policy was not lessened. He supported Lord 
Hartington's Motion in the House of Commons, on 
August 2nd, 1878, condemning the aftion of the Govern- 
ment in regard to the Eastern Question, though the motion 
was lost by 195 to 338, giving his reasons the following 
February : 

Believing as we do that the Berlin Treaty was not a satisfaAoiy 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 289 

one, I hope that we shall aU do the best we can to stop that Jingoism 
which is so rampant. 

When the laudations over Lord Beaconsfield's work were 
loud, and when the scene shifted more to the East, and 
Afghanistan became a prominent faAor, my Father became 
stronger than ever in his dislike of his policy, revealing 
his feelings in speech after speech. A ''spirited foreign 
policy " never appealed to his imagination believing, as he 
did, that it was often the prelude to untold disaster and 
misery. In one speech he referred to the occasion '' when 
Lord Salisbury used the phrase ' a spirited foreign policy,' 
and he received a just rebuke from Mr. Bright, who said 
that rather than a spirited foreign policy we want a just 
one.** My Father expressed the hope, in 1882, "that the 
time has passed when it is imagined that no country can 
be prosperous unless it is pitching into somebody. ' In 
another place he said : 

As little as possible interference in foreign affitirs is one of the 
cardinal points in my creed. 

His views on the war in A%hanistan in 1878, followed 
by the disaster of the murder of the English Resident, Sir 
Louis Givagnari, and other English people at Cabul, in 
September, 1879, were embodied in a speech the following 
month. He quoted the opinions of authorities like Lord 
Lawrence, Lord Northbrook, and Lord Mayo who had 
felt the Government's policy must sooner or later end in 
disaster. The fashion of speaking of the wars at that time 
as ^^ very courageous afiairs " he thought foolish enough. 
Courage no doubt was shown by officers and soldiers, but 
not by " noble lords sitting in London and ordering regi- 
ments to the front," or "by newspaper writers who urge 
on the prosecution of the wars." He thought : 

Instead of ordering other men to go to batde and danger and 
death, it would be much braver and more patriotic to bring peace 
to the country and the world. 

u 



290 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

My Father had expressed his distrust of the Govcam- 
ment's warlike policy by supporting Mr. Whitbread's 
Motion in the House of Commons, on December xjth, 
1878, censuring their aAion in regard to A^hanistan; and 
Sir Charles Dilke*s Motion on March 31st, 18 79, criticizing 
their a6tions in Zululand before the war (" this miserable 
Zulu war/* as he described it) which took place that year. 
With reference to South African afiairs he voiced his feel- 
ings in a speech to his Constituents in February, 1880: 

I will remind you that one of the idols of the Tory party just 
now is Mr. Cowen, the member for Newcastle, who is a man noted 
for the eloquence of his speeches. Now I heard Mr« Cowen make 
a most eloquent speech in the House of Commons in £sivour of the 
annexation of the Transvaal, and that speech had a great efied on 
my mind, and the minds of other Liberal members who, like me, 
voted with the Government on that question. If that speech were 
to be made now I am inclined to think that it would have no such 
cSsSt as it had when it was delivered, for London newspaper»^ 
and not Radical ones either, for ^^ The Times " is one — are now 
telling us that perhaps after all England has made a mistake in the 
course pursued in annexing the Transvaal. 

In his Eleftion Address at the contest of 1880 there 
occur these words : 

Enjoying the blessings of freedom 'ourselves, we are bound to 
respea the liberty of others. I am opposed^ therefore, to all unjust 
wars and needless interference in the affiurs of other nations. The 
policy of the present government has resulted in embroiling us in 
cruel wars in Africa and Asia, and it has left Europe in a condition 
which can only be regarded as an armed peace. 

The next sentence touched on the financial position of 
England, a side of the question on which my Father had 
a good deal to say. 

I profoundly distrust the financial policy of the eovemment--4i 
policy which has added materially to the national taxation, and 
threatens to increase our future burdens. 

The great increase in military eaqpenditure alarmed him. 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874— 1880 291 

Nor did he approve of two ways designed to meet it, namely, 
by adding to the National Debt, which he described as a 
very easy way of hoodwinking the country as to the " real 
state of its finances, . . . by postponing the evil day of pay- 
ment, instead of paying the bills when they become due," 
and by charging the expenses of the A%han War on the 
Indian Exchequer. He supported Mr. Fawcett's Motion 
in the House of Commons condemning this latter course. 
As Lord Derby had expressed it, this ^^ gunpowder and 
glory business is a very cosdy piece of business," and my 
Father ridiculed the idea that spending money on war 
material was good for the country. 

Some people fancy, [he said,] that the money passing from one 
hand to another is not wasted ; but the h& is tnat money spent in 
shot and gunpowder to blow men into the air is wanton waste and 
nothing else. 

At the time of commercial depression during the latter 
half of the decade now under review the cry of Proteftion 
was revived. My Father, who had no faith in this panacea, 
reminded his hearers that commercial depression was no 
new development since Free Trade was introduced. He 
pointed them back, by way of example, to the " thirty-one 
years, although a period of profound peace, during which 
the Corn Laws were in force (18 15-1846), which was a 
time of almost unparalleled distress in England, when Trade 
was stagnated." In a speech in 1879 he said there were 
some ** mutterings about Protedkion," minor members of 
the Government " whispering words indicating they had a 
longing and lingering affedkion for it," while their chiefs 
denied the possibility of re-introducing such a thing. He 
hoped the country would not be deceived into it. 

It will be found generally to be the case, [he said,] that everyone 
who produces some article wants it proteded, but he does not wish 
articles that he consumes protected. 

As flour milling was part of his business, my Father 



292 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

knew something of the state of the corn trade at that time. 
He knew that " from ^ to f of the wheat consumed in 
this country has come from abroad." This might seem 
hard on the farmers, but he believed it was good for the 
people at large, for it was essential for the prosperity of the 
country that its people should have good and sufficient 
food. He compared the farmers with those market gardeners 
who comphdned because they could not get such good 
prices for their lettuces and cabbages in London as formerly, 
for, as they were unable to meet the demand, these were 
now imported from G>rnwall and France. But my Father 
maintained the result was greatly to the advantage of the 
people generally. In 1880 England was suffering from 
*' one of the worst harvests known for a century," but he 
pointed out to his hearers that thanks to the Free Trade 
policy its people had been fed " at no greatly enhanced cost 
above what they would have been called upon to pay for 
food if the harvest had been a good one." On the cause of 
the trade depression at that time, he spoke at a meeting in 
January, 1879, in reply to a speaker who professed to be 
^^ very much surprised that Radicals should attribute the 
present depression to the present Government," main- 
taining that the statement was " simply a party cry." My 
Father replied : 

Radicals know what they are about, and are able to discriminate 
between what causes and what aggravates a disease. They admit 
that over-produ&ion, and other causes, have damaged English trade, 
but they say that until we have an assurance of peace, and men are 
at the head of affidrs who desire peace, trade will not revive, and 
commerce will not prosper. What do the farmers think of the 
present state of afiairs ? There was a time when a war meant war 
prices; but it is not so now. With new markets open, and a de- 
pression of trade, war now means depressed prices. The agriculturists 
of this county are mistaken if they think war has not had a damaging 
ctkSt on prices. Depressed trade means that the industries of the 
country are not in adive operation, and that agricultural produds 
cannot be paid for at the price they ought to conunand. 



SECOND PARLIAMENT 1874—1880 293 

Foreign aflairs absorbed so much time and attention in 
this Parliament that home affairs had to suffer. Thus in 
reference to one Session, that of 1 879, my Father's comment 
was that it was an ^* unprofitable subjed, for nothing was 
doing besides sitting up late and passing a few unimportant 
Ads/' 

Members of Parliament have a good deal of Committee 
work of one sort or another. In 1874 mv Father was put 
on a Seled Committee, dealing with a Bill to regulate the 
Sale of Food and Drugs, which became law the next year. 
This entailed a good deal of work. Another Committee on 
which he served during this Parliament had to consider a 
Bill asking for powers to make a Railway in London, in- 
volving the destruAion of the King's Weigh House Chapel, 
then situated in Fish Street Hill, endeared to my Father 
as having been the one of which Dr. Thomas Binney was 
the Minister. Some of the members were apparently not 
so well versed in the methods of Nonconformists as he was. 
Thus he reported to my Mother, on April ist, 1879 : 

The Committee takes up one's thoughts as well as time. . . • 
Railway matters as to the underground have not much of interest, 
so I won't dilate on them, but I understand we are to have some 
curious and amusing episodes soon as to Weigh House Chapel, with 
Mr. Morley and H. Richard as witnesses. I fancy the other mem- 
bers of the Committee will be rather at sea on the point of Trustees, 
Deacons, -etc 

The following extrad, written the next day, will show 
the conscientious way in which he entered into his G>m- 
mittee work : 

Our Committee gets on a little faster. ... I went this morning 
to the London Hospital to inspect the route proposed to be taken, 
^d then walked back to the City, so as to see for myself all the 
pros and cons. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

THIRD PARLIAMENT 
1880— 1885; AGED 49 SS 

(liberal administration to JUNE 24TH, 1885) 

(conservative ADMINISTRATION FROM JUNE 24TH, I 885) 

THE Dissolution of 1880, which proved to be the 
death blow of the great Beaconsfield Administration, 
came in the end with litde warning. 

My Father and Mr. Tillett were again selefted to contest 
Norwich in the Liberal interest. The ** Citizen Candidates," 
as they were called, were first in the field. On March 17th 
my Father wrote : 

I shall have, I suppose, to fight a strongish batde here, though 
at present no opposition is announced — but I don^t exped to escape 
scot free. 

Within two days the Conservative Candidates, both 
strangers to the City, were announced. They were Mr. 
Henry Harben, Chairman of the Prudential Life Assurance 
Company, and the Hon. F. B. Massey-Mainwaring. The 
City was flooded by Canvassers from a distance in the Con- 
servative interest, who, whatever their connexion with the 
Company, were commonly known as "Prudentials." Their 
ignorance of local persons and places led to some amusing 
incidents, and afforded welcome material for the eleAioneer- 
ing humorists of the day. The hero of the hour on the 
Liberal side was the juvenile grandson of a well-known 
Radical, who, when asked by one of them the way to the 

294 



THIRD PARLIAMENT 1880—1885 ^95 

Hall where a G>nservative Meeting was to be held, promptly 
replied, " You can't do better than go straight on," — ^thus 
sending him in diametrically the opposite diredion. 

The EUedion took place in Norwich on March 3 1 st, 1 8 80, 
with the following result, announced about 8.30 the same 
evening, the poll in those days still closing at four* 

J. J. Colman (Lib.) ^9549 

J. H. Tillett (Lib.) 6,512 

Henry Harben (Con.) 59^42 

Hon. F. B. Massey-Mainwaring (Con.) 5,032 

This Eleftion was very much quieter than the one in 
1874. The result to the Liberals, especially considering 
the new lines on which they fought it, already referred to, 
was, my Father considered, ^^ immensely satisfadory." 

The eledioneering cry that *^ the Tories came in with six 
millions to the good, and went out with eight millions to 
the bad," had formed a rousing battle cry in the Country, 
when millions were less lighdy thought of than nowadays. 
My Father rqoiced, he wrote, to think that the Liberal 
success in Norwich was '^ only an advanced wave of a great 
tide of Liberalism, which will surely sweep the present 
Government with its tinsel Foreign Policy out of office." 
The Country gave its mandate with no uncertain voice, 
and Lord Beaconsfield resigned before the meeting of Par- 
liament. The Queen, after seeing Lord Hartington and 
Lord Granville, sent for Mr. Gladstone to form a Ministry, 
and he took office as First Lord of the Treasury and Chan-- 
cellor of the Exchequer. 

In reviewing, nearly four years later, the first Session of 
the new Parliament, my Father referred to some of the 
legislative Ads. 

The Employers' Liability Ad, passed during the Session 
of 1880, he described as ^^a fair and just Bill." He 
added: 

For myself I am happy to be able to say that at present I have 



296 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

not had any experience of that A€t ; but if the passing of it removes 
any injustice, and puts the working man on a better footing in case 
of injury, I for one am perfedly satisfied, and glad that I helped to 
pass it. 

The Burials Ad, passed the same Session, which he sup- 
ported, dealt, he felt, with " a question on which the Non- 
conformists have asked for justice for a long series of years 
before." 

If the Session saw some useful work, it also saw, one 
infers, a good deal of wasted time. In one letter my Father 
was goaded to write from the House of Commons to my 
Mother : 

We are having an awfully weary day here to-day, talk — ^talk — 
talk — ^till one gets sick of human nature for being such a set 
of fools. 

One question, raised this Session, formed the basis of 
many troublous scenes, until finally set to rest in 1888 by 
the Aflfirmation Aft. Mr. Bradlaugh, eleAed at the 1880 
EleAion, claimed the right to afifirm, instead of taking the 
usual oath, when being sworn in as a Member. In a speech 
delivered in 1884 my Father gave his opinion on the 
question : 

No citizen of Norwich will assume that I have the smallest sym- 
pathy with the tenets which Mr. Bradlaugh is supposed to repre- 
sent. . • . But I am bound to say it is not for us to stand in the way 
of the rights of the Constituency of Northampton. In voting — ^if 
the question comes in that form — that Mr. Bradlaugh be permitted 
to take his seat, I should do so with the firm belief that I am doing 
nothing to injure religion in any resped. 

The Session of 1 8 8 1 was largely devoted to Irish ai&irs, 
which indeed were to take up a great deal of time and 
attention during the whole Parliament, involving the con- 
sideration of very knotty problems-^how to ded with the 
disturbed condition of the Island, the agrarian outrages, and 



THIRD PARLIAMENT 1880— 1885 297 

the organized obstruAion in the House of Commons. 
^^ The House as insane as ever," was one of my Father's 
comments written during a sitting; that lasted forty-one 
hours. Four years earlier he haa supported resolutions 
intended to dc^ with the obstrudion, for '^ the House of 
Commons," he said, ^* is after all an assembly of business 
men for tiie transadHon of business,'* and he thought it 
should not tolerate having ^^ aU its proceedings obstruded 
by two, three, or five men, out of six or seven hundred," 
In 1880 tiie Compensation for Disturbance (Ireland) 
Bill, an attempt to secure tenants from cruel and needless 
evictions, which the Government felt to be an important 
measure, had been passed by the Commons, but thrown 
out by the Lords. My Father expressed his opinion, in a 
speecn in 1884, '* that not a little of the disturbance which 
has occurred in Ireland would have been prevented had 
that Bill been allowed to become the law of the land." He 
added : 

But the next year we did pass an Irish Land Bill — z, Bill which 
I trust will produce fruit in future years in the pacification of our 
Sister Country. 

It was an attempt to setde the grievances between tenants 
and landlords. Writing to my Mother, on August nth, 
1 881, in reference to this Bill, which had occupied so many 
hours during the Session, my Father expressed his relief: 

To-day has been after all a storm in a tea-pot, and the Land 
Bill is through without an Autumn Session. 

In looking back on the fights over the Bill he stated in 
a speech delivered in i88a : 

The last Session brought out what was admitted by foes as well 
as by friends — the mastery of detail, and the mastery of temper, 
which Mr. Gladstone showed over the Irish Land Bin. 

The year 1882 was marked by events of tragic import, 
both in Ireland and Egypt. 



298 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

On May 6th, the Irish National movement, so much to 
the fore during this Parliament, received a crushing blow 
by the assassination in the Phoenix Pairk at Dublin of Lord 
Frederick Cavendish, the recently appointed Irish Secretary 
(in the place of Mr. W. E. Forster, who had resigned), and 
of Mr. Thomas Burke, the permanent Under Secretary. It 
needed much more than the repudiation of this aft by the 
leaders of the movement to check the efFeA on the En^ish 
people when the news of the crime became known. Two 
years later, my Father spoke of this year as being ^^ stained 
by the frightful crime in Ireland which disturbed very much 
the arrangements which were then before the House," He 
had, it need hardly be said, expressed his horror of this 
and of the other crimes which stained the history of Ireland 
during those years. He supported Mr. Gladstone's Gov- 
ernment in their coercive measures of 1882, feeling as he 
expressed it : 

We were compelled, unfortunately, to devote a great deal of 
time, and I believe the time was properly devoted, to the passing of 
the Bill for Prevention of Crime in Ireland. 

But later on he came to feel there was a better way of 
trying to check crime than by means of Coercion A6ts. 
Four years later he admitted: 

I am bound to state that votes have been given in the House 
of Commons, in promotion of a coercive policy, by myself and 
other Members of the Liberal party, which would riot have been 
given had all the fa£b been nuule known. Undoubtedly if votes 
were given to put down crime, that crime was committed in 
answer unfortunately to other crime. 

And in 1887, in criticizing the more stringent coercive 
measures in the Crimes Bill of a Conservative Government, 
he said: 

The bulk of the Liberal party did not know, till taught by one 
or two prominent individuals, more particularly Mr. John Morley, 
that coercion was not going to the root of the matter. . . • But 



THIRD PARLIAMENT 1880— 1885 299 



Libcrak have learned the leBSon that coercive meaiureB are not a 
remedy for Irish evils, for they only touch the surface, instead of 
going to the root of the disease. 

Replying to the taunt that Liberals had altered their 
position, he maintsdned there was good reason for their 
change of front: 

A few years ago we did not understand, as we understand now, 
the question of Irish land. We did not formerly realize the faft 
that the Irish tenants have been paying extortionate rents, in many 
instances to absentee landlords. Knowledge has since come to us 
from different sources — Commissions, the Land Courts, and state- 
ments in the House of Commons— of the sufiering? of the Irish 
tenants. 

In June, 1882, affairs in Egypt had reached an acute 
stage, and wGdoh was taken by the English Government tp 
quell the Insurrection under Arabi. Shordy before the first 
shot was fired, the Right Hon. H. C. E. Childers, then 
War Secretary, paid a short visit to my Father at Gorton, 
from July 8 A to the loth. My Mother, writing to her 
mother on the latter date (the day when the Enghsh Fleet 
took up Its position at Alexandria, and the French Fleet 
sailed away), said, in reference to his visit: 

• 

I do not think Mr. Childers will be at all surprised if they have 
to go out of office in the autumn. . . . He told us that just before 
coming down here he had heard that everything was ready for war 
with Egypt, and he thought the best way to save the country from 
war was to be thoroughly prepared for it Nothing now was re- 
quired but the lifting of a finger and the troops could be sent off 
with all that they require. He had arranged at Jeremiah's sugges- 
tion that the Lowestoft telegraph office should be kept open all 
Sunday, and at about 6.30 a message was brought up by horse, 
and he was doubtful whether he might not have to travel back by 
the 8.40 p.m. train. We sent him up to Lowestoft in time fur 
that train, but he found it was not necessary to go before this 
morning, so he returned. 

The following evening, July 1 1 th, my Father, who had 



300 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

gone up to London^ wrote to his wife from the House of 
Commons: 

So far as Foreign news is concerned there is a hope that the 
Egyptian afiair will not be serious, at least for us — but the letting 
out of water is always serious, and so is the beginning of gun- 
powder. 

On that fateful morning the bombardment of Alex- 
andria had already begun. 

In reference to the following year, 1883, my Father said 
of the Session : 

People say it was wasted. But I am not prepared to assent to 
that. The Session of Parliament which passed the Agricultural 
Holdings A£l, the Patents A£t, the Bankruptcy Adl, and the 
Corrupt Practices A& was not, in my judgment, by any means a 
wasted Session. ' 

The two Sessions of 1 8 84 were notable for the new Re-. 
form Bill, by which the County Franchise was extended, 
which became law during the autumn. My Father of 
course gave his support to it, and also to the Redistribu- 
tion of oeats Bill, passed the following year. His account 
of the introduftion of the latter Bill was: 

The Scheme is too big for description in a hasty note. Suffice 
it now to say that a good many single seats will be introduced in 
new Borougns, and some big ones divided, but Norwich remains 
untouched. 

The obstruftion in the House of Lords to the County 
Franchise Bill had deeply roused the Liberals, and many 
thought it was time to put an end to the Upper House. 
Though my Father thought there was a good deal to be 
said in favour of a Second Chamber, yet, he maintained, in 
1888, there was *^ nothing to be said for one based on the 
principles of the present House of Lords," and he felt 
^^ there could be no more illogical or unsound principle 
than that upon which the present Upper House is founded 



THIRD PARLIAMENT 1 880-1 885 301 



— the hereditaiy right to legislate for this great country." 
He was not imbued with the idea that a title and br^ns 
necessarily go together. Once he expressed the views to 
my Mother, referring to some Parliamentary Bill: 

The Bill is in Committee for Friday in the Lords, and I may 
be compelled to stay — at all events I must stay to-morrow, as 1 
have to tiy and put a few grains of common sense into the heads 
of two noUe lords, and this may take all my time. 

The Session of 1885 was one of great anxiety, owing to 
events in the Soudan, and the possibility of a war with 
Russia. 

The news of the fall of Khartoum, and the death of 
General Gordon, reached England early in February. On 
March 2nd my Father in a letter referred to the affairs 
in Egypt, and to Mr. John Morley's Amendment to Sir 
Stafford Northcote*s Resolution, condemning the policy of 
the Government, which ran as follows: 

That this House, while refraining from expressing an opinion on 
the policy pursued by Her Majesty s Goverment in respeft to the 
af&irs of Egypt and the Soudan, regrets the decision of Her 
Majesty's Government to employ the forces of the Crown for the 
overthrow of the power of the Mahdi. 

My Father's comment was: 

You will see by the Division Lists that I did not support Mr. 
Morley, though I feh a good deal of sympathy vnth his Amend- 
ment, and it was not without some hesitation that I determined 
how to vote. On the whole it appeared best to me (as you will see 
it did also to not a few others among the Radical Liberals) to follow 
the line Mr. Gladstone announced — ^viz., the direct negative to the 
three Amendments. This course appeared to me to be specially 
incumbent, in consequence of the defedtion from the Government 
of many who call themselves Li[berals], but who in the matter of 
war p[olicy] vote with the Tories. At the same time I sympathize 
fully with the feeling of aversion to the war . . . and think it 
should be concluded as speedily as is possible. 



302 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

In January, 1884, he had expressed his views on the oc- 
cupation of Egypt in the following words: 

So far as Egypt is concerned, I confess I am not able to say that 
Englishmen have no right to take care of the highway to India and 
Australia. I have faith in the remarks made by Mr. Chamberlain 
at Newcastle the other day, when he said that in being in Egypt 
we arc there for no purpose of our own, we are there to secure 
good government, and then get away as fast as we can. But we 
have to take care that good government is secured. The way to 
some of our most important possessions is through that country, 
and I cannot feel that we should be justified in saying we have no 
interest in Egypt at the present time. I hope, however, there will 
be no desire to extend our Empire. I fancy some of our Conserva- 
tive friends have a kind of thirst for universal Empire. I have been 
reading a sermon recently preached by the Dean of Norwich — 
who is a very zealous Conservative. In an eloquent and thoughtful 
passive the Dean shows very strikingly that the four great attempts 
at universal Empire in the past have failed, and that the Persian 
Empire, the Babylonian Empire, Alexander's Empire, and the 
Roman Empire have all come to naught. When reading it^ I 
thought this surely is a lesson for Englishmen. We have an Em- 
pire krge enough ; we don't want to extend it ; we want to rule it 
wisely and well, and for the good of the natives under our rule, but 
we don't want any dream of universal Empire. 

The Controversy with Russia had reference to the Russian 
advances in Central Asia. While the British and Russian 
Governments were arranging for a Commission to setde 
the dispute in regard to the boundary of Afghanistan, the 
state of aflairs had been made more critical by the Russians' 
attacking the Afghans at Penjdeh on March 30th, 1885. 
Three weeks earlier my Father's belief had been that 
" though we may have * tall talk ' with. Russia, I doubt if 
it will come to anything more than that." On the 23rd he 
wrote: 

With reference to political matters, all one can say is that the 
situation in still an anxious one. I still would hold to the hope that 
there is too much common sense on both sides to allow of war 
being adhially engaged in — but when I was in town last week I 



THIRD PARLIAMENT 1880—1885 303 



found there was in the House of Commons, and amongst those best 
informed, a considerable amount of anxiety. 

When the case had become more critical still, my Father 
still hoped ^^ the threatened cloud might be dispersed and 
that it will not again be our lot to engage in a terrible and 
fearfiil strife,'* but his one consolation was that if war 
should come, in waging it for India, England would be 
doing so '^ for a great country committed to her charge,** 
and not for ^^ supporting a tyrannical and corrupt power 
like Turkey." On May 7th he reported: 

On the question on which the Division took place on Tuesday 
night, when there was, as you will have seen, only two majority, I 
understand, but not from the Whips, Gladstone was very worried. 
. • . The Tories are terribly angry, whether because they honestly 
think Russia has got the better of us, or that they think the Govern- 
ment will appear better in the face of the country having avoided 
war, I don't know. At all events they will do what in mortal men 
lies to harass the Government during the next few days. . . . All 
I can say is that it seems to me the next few days are extremely 
critical, and though I am down here [at Gorton] stocktaking, the 
Whips know that I am ready to come up at any time. 

The crisis, as far as Russia was concerned, happily 
passed, but the crisis as far as the Government was con- 
cerned came unexpeftedly the next month. An Amendment 
on Mr. Childers s Budget was carried by a majority of 
twelve, on June 8th, 1885, and Mr. Gladstone resigned. 

It was my lot on that occasion, [said my Father,] to stand where 
I could see the frantic delight of the Fourth Party and the Irish 
Party. 

The following day he wrote about the situation: 

Politically we have got into a sudden mess. .• • • The latest 
rumours point to the idea that Lord Salisbury is to come in as his 
party wish to have a few months of the spoils of office, and so per- 
haps it will be. The Liberal Party on the whole are not cast down 
as to the ultimate result, by which I mean the result after the 
General Election. 



304 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Writing on the 22nd of June, he stated: 

On the general political question, at the time I write this, nothing 
is settled positively, but it looks very much as if the Conservatives 
would not succeed in forming a Government. 

Lord Salisbury, however, did succeed, but remained 
only a few months in office, my Father's comment on the 
new Ministry being: 

There are plenty of titles in the new Cabinet Lord Salisbury 
should have remembered that because a man is a lord he is not 
necessarily a fit ruler of the coimtry. 



CHAPTER XIX 

FOURTH PARLIAMENT 
1885 1886: AGED 55 

(liberal administration) 

PARLIAMENT was dissolved in the late autumn of 
1885, and the General Eledion took place in No- 
vember. 

Since the previous EleAion the Liberals in Norwich had 
done an important piece of or^nizing by forming an Asso- 
ciation in 1883 — the Liberal Three Hundred — ^which be- 
came the official organization of the Party. The Executive 
Committee had to look out for a second candidate, as Mr. 
Tillett declined to stand again. Attempts made to get 
another Citizen Candidate railed, and the Liberals had to 
go further afield to find a colleague for my Father. The 
choice fell on Mr. R. S. Wright (the late Mr. Justice 
Wright), than whom no more loyal colleague could have 
been found. His quick repartee and skill in dealing with 
difficult questions, for which my Father always maintained 
a legal training was needed, was a source or unmixed ad- 
miration to the latter, whose caution made him detest 
being bombarded by sudden questions needing sudden 
answers. 

Mr. (afterwards Sir) Harry BuUard stood alone in the 
Conservative interest. My Father fully expeAed, he wrote, 
"a vigorous contest" in the "difficult two-against-one 
contest." The Right Hon. G. O. Trevelyan was one who 
came to help the Liberals at a Meeting in October. The 



3o6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

EleAion took place on November 2 5th, with the following 

result: 

H. Bullard (Con.) 7>279 

J. J- Colman (Lib.) 6y666 
R. S. Wright (Lib.) 6,251 

It was an unprecedentedly large poll, 13,600 persons 
having voted. My Father was much disappointed that 
Mr. Wright was not returned with him : 

Thanks for your telegram of congratulations, [he wrote to one 
correspondent,] but I want some amount of condolence as well. 

Mr. Wright, who came straight from the Declaration 
of the Poll to teU the news to my Father at Carrow House, 
and whose philosophic calm over his defeat was a lesson to 
all candidates in such a position, summed up his views in 
subsequent words to my Father, of which those who knew 
him could not doubt their genuineness: 

It would have been entirely intolerable to me to have got in 
without you. It is much best as it is. 

During the Eleftion my Father, as was his wont, worked 
in some of the County Constituencies as well as his own. 
A letter referring to " a meeting at Wisbech in support of 
Mr. Rigby, anoSier meeting at Attleborough in support 
of Mr. K. T. Gurdon, a third meeting at Lynn in support 
of Sir Wm. ffblkes, and another meeting last night in sup- 
port of Sir Savile Crossley," gives some idea of what he 
had on hand. It was little wonder he suffered from hoarse- 
ness, and could only fulfil some of his engagements with 
difficulty, nor that he should be led to exdaim in a letter 
to a fellow-sportsman, Mr. J. A. Hardcasde : 

Oh! the bother of these meetings! What is to become of mjr 
partridges and pheasants meanwhile? They will surely wish there 
were annual Parliamentary Eledions in the month of November. 

The eledion of his brother-in-law, Herbert H. Cozens- 



i 



FOURTH PARLIAMENT 1885— 1886 307 

Hardy, for North Norfolk, by a large majority, was one 
bright spot among many disappointments during that 
Eie^ion. 

In Norwich the Liberal Party, believing that illegal 
praAices had been resorted to, and anxious to prevent a 
recurrence, lodged a Petition against the return of the 
Conservative Candidate. It was tried in March, 1886, be- 
fore Mr. Justice Denman and Mr. Justice Cave, who, 
while exonerating Mr. BuUard personally, reported that as 
a case of bribery by an agent of his had been proved, he 
was not duly eleded, and was disqualified for standing for 
seven years. The possibility of another General Eledtion 
in the near future made it specially difficult to get a can- 
didate to contest the vacant seat, and the Libends decided 
not to fight it. So the following month Mr. (afterwards 
Sir) Samuel Hoare, who stood in the Conservative interest, 
was returned unopposed. 

This Parliament, elefted in 1885, consisted of 333 
Liberals, 251 Conservatives, and 86 Home Rulers. The 
key of the position was therefore in the hands of the last. 
The Liberals had lost heavily in the Boroughs, but the 
newly-enfranchized EleAors in the Counties had largely 
supported them. My Father's views on the position the 
latter might take in the future were sketched in a letter 
dated December i6th, 1885: 

Suppose the Pariiament does litde or nothing for the Agricultural 
Labourers — how will they vote next time i Some people have ex- 
pressed the opinion that they will become more extreme than ever, 
but I am not quite sure of this, and feel that perhaps they may say, 
^^ We get nothing from the Liberals as we expe^ed, and may as 
well go with the Farmers and Parsons again." At all events, which- 
ever it may be, I fear the Agricultural Labourer will find this Par- 
liament not so good an one as he expeded. 

Parliament met in January, 1886. In the Debate on the 
Address Mr. Jesse Collings carried his " Three Acres and 
a Cow " Amendment, so Lord Salisbury immediately re- 



3o8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

signed, and was succeeded by Mr. Gladstone. My Father's 
comment in a letter to my Mother, written on January 
27th, the day after the Government's defeat, was: 

As to last night's doings, all feel in a fog, and though the Amend- 
ment was one we were bound to vote for — if voting at all — nearly 
every one feels it is a step in the dark — and it was very noteworthy 
that the cheers came from the Irish and not from the Liberals. 

On April 8th, 1886, Mr. Gladstone, in a speech of 
three and a half hours' duration, before a crowded House, 
asked leave to bring in his Bill for the Better Government 
of Ireland. Thus the Home Rule Controversy became the 
question on which the Government was to sink or swim. 
" Only time for a line," wrote my Father that day to his 
wife, " on this historical afternoon. I have a very good 
seat, and that is something important." His comment the 
next day was : 

I think on the whole the reception of the Scheme is satisia£lory 
— a grim necessity, no doubt, but [it was] felt that it, or something 
like it, is inevitable. 

The Bill was soon followed by its companion measure, 
Mr. Gladstone's Land Purchase Bill. On April 14th my 
Father reported to my Mother: 

You will have seen that the Land Bill is to come in on Friday, 
but there seem so many surprizes now, that we hardly know from 
day to day what will happen. 

A month later, when the split in the Liberal Gunp was 
shown to be serious, and the Liberal Unionists, as they 
eleAed to caU themselves, were massing together, my 
Father wrote, in a letter dated May nth: 

Politics look queer again, but on the whole I am not sure that 
in the long run it is not better that Chamberlain should be where 
he is than support the Bill. 

My Father never had any faith in Mr. Chamberlain as a 
Political Leader, even at the time when he was at the 



FOURTH PARLIAMENT 1885— 1886 309 

height of hi8 popularity amongst the Liberal Party. He 
thovight his speeches and writings *' more sensational than 
souncL" 

On May 3 1 st my Father's news was : 

You mrill see we are suddenly in the midst of Storm, and it looks 
as if Dissolution is certain. 

The five-lined Whip, urging the attendance of all M.P.'s 
for the Division on the Second Reading of the Home Rule 
Bill, was for June 7th. In the early hours of the following 
morning the Government was defeated by 341 votes to 
311, and two days later the Dissolution of Parliament was 
announced. 

My Father had supported both these Irish Measures. 
On April 30th he had written in reference to them : 

My intention is to support the measures Mr. Gladstone has 
brought in. No doubt alterations will be made in Committee — and 
probably important ones — but as to the 2nd Reading I feel no 
doubt as to what I ought to do. 

Complete severance between England and Ireland, he 
was clear, was not to be thought of. 

Geographically, [he said in a speech in 1884,] Ireland happens to 
be very near our shores, and it would be a bad thine, both for 
Ireland and England, if she were separated from the United 
Kingdom. I am not prepared to do anything which will tend in 
that direction. 

But he believed, as he expressed it in his Eleftion Ad- 
dress of 1886, "that a measure which shall give to the 
Sister Country control over her local concerns, due respeA 
being paid to Imperial interests, is an absolute necessity, 
and that only in this way can good legislation for both 
countries be efficiently secured. Difficulties were sug- 
gested by many in regard to the Ulster Protestants. To 
\ these he replied in June, 1886, to a correspondent: 

With resped to the special point you raise— of the Ulster Pro- 
testants — I am quite convinced (and I have had personal testimony 



3IO JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

from several gentlemen living in Ireland to this efie£t) that the fears 
entertained by this class wiU prove to be as groundless as in the 
case of the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, when similar 
fears were very freely expressed. Further, I may say that I enter- 
tain the reasonable hope that the association of rrotestants and 
Roman Catholics in work tor common ends in the Irish Parlia- 
ment will do nluch to banish the bitter sedarian animosity of the 
North of Ireland, which has been grievously discreditable to the 
common Christianity of both the disputant seflions. 

My Father felt that though this short Parliament had 
unfortunately split up the Liberal Party, yet it had done 

food by laying the foundation for a better understanding 
etween the £nglish and the Irish, a foundation on which 
he hoped in time ^^ a noble strudure " would be raised. 



CHAPTER XX 

FIFTH PARLIAMENT 
1886 189a: AOBD $6 61 

(conservative administration) 

THE General Eleftion of 1 886 took place in the sum- 
mer. It was rumoured my Father was going to 
forsake Norwich, and stand for a division of Norfolk. In 
a letter to a friend he wrote: 

It 18 Norwich or nothing, and I shall not. fret personally if it is 
the latter* 

Indeed, it was largely loyalty to Mr. Gladstone that 
made him consent to stand, so that, if eleAed, he could 
give him his support in the difficult work he had on hand. 
The split among the Liberals on the Home Rule Question 
made it more than usually difficult to get candidates on 
that side. Mr. Tillett at length consented to be nominated, 
in conjunction with my Father, so, to quote the words of 
the latter, there was *^ thus, at the least, promise of a spirited 
contest." 

Mr. Samuel Hoare stood in the Conservative interest, 
with Mr. Clare Sewell Read — ^with whom my Father was 
always on friendly terms, not at all lessened by having to 
fight him in a political contest. 

On July 1st, in the thick of the fray, after a meeting at 
which the Right Hon. James 'Stansfeld, M.P., had been 
the chief speaker, my Mother reported in a letter to her 
youngest daughter, then at School : 

311 



311 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Last night the people would drag your Father and Mr. Tillett 
home, so the horses were taken out, and they, with Mr. Stansfeid, 
Ethel and me were pulled along London St., by the Market Place 
and St. Stephen's to Mr. Tillett's house, where we dropped him, 
and then we were taken by Queen's Road to St. Catherine's HilL 
Here we got out, and wished the people good night, and walked 
home down Butter Hill and the Grove, but the people would drag 
the empty carriage home, with Bradley [the coachman] sitting in 
state on the box ! The row of shouting and singing was decidedly 
deafening, and we were very glad to get into our quiet home. It 
was not at all to your Father's and my taste, as you will well 
believe. We are so busy that I have hardly an hour to call my own. 

My Father, finding time to send birthday greetings to 
this daughter the same day, the eve of the Ele6tion, wrote: 

I shall have a different day to yours, but it remains to be seen 
whether it will be a day for congratulations or the contrary. At 
all events, I am not going to fret myself if the result is an adverse 
one, except that I shall feel if Norwich is lost other places will be 
lost too, and then it will be a bad thing for the Liberal party. 

The Eleftion took place on July 2nd, 1886, with the 
foUowing result: 

J. J. Colman (Lib.) 6,295 

S. Hoare (Con.) 6,156 

J. H. Tillett (Lib.) 6,119 

C. S. Read (Con.) 5*564 

As for Norwich, [my Father wrote in a letter dated July 5th,] 
you know that I never looked for any very great result. We have 
done the best we could, but I am afraid the Liberal Dissentients 
are more numerous than some of our sanguine friends thought a 
few weeks ago. 

He much regretted Mr. Tillett's defeat, especially as it 
would have been prevented had some of the plumpers used 
their votes for both Liberal Candidates. My Mother in a 
letter to her mother wrote: 

To us it is most annoying that there should have been 99 



FIFTH PARLIAMENT 1886— 1892 313 

plumpers for Jeremiah. If these Eledors had sph't their votes hj 
giving equally to the Liberal Candidates Mr. Tillett would have 
been in by a majority of fifty. 

This defeat meant the dose of Mr. Tillett's aftive 
political life — a life of storm and stress, in which he had 
fought 6 contested Eledions (in 1868, 1870, 1874, 1875, 
1880 and 1886), had been defeated 3 times, had had to 
stand the brunt of 3 EleAion Petitions, once as Petitioner 
and twice as Defendant, to say nothing of 2 Royal Com- 
missions. For a time he was at once the most hated and 
the most revered figure in the political life of Norwich, 
and party feeling ran very high during his candidature. 

M7 Father used to look back upon talks when a lad 
with Mr. Tillett as amongst his earliest recoUeftions of 
political matters. At the time of the latter's death, in 1 892, 
there appeared among the notices in the newspapers about 
him an unsigned one by my Mother, who knew him in- 
timately. Those who recaUed him only as a politician, with 
his fine commanding personality and gifts ot oratory, knew 
only part of him, and she was anxious that the other sides 
of his charadter should not pass unnoticed. She wrote of 
him: 

Those who knew Mr. Tillett simply as a public speaker and a 
politician can have little idea of what he was to those who were 
admitted into the inner circle of his friendship. Everyone in Nor- 
wich knows that he was one of her leading citizens, a man of mark, 
and even till the last year of his life his name carried power and 
weight with the people. He was ever a true friend of the poor, the 
troubled, and the tried. In his political work he strove to raise the 
working classes by trusting them, and to this end he strove to obtain 
for them the right to vote for representatives to the House of Com- 
mons. But he never spoke to them of the franchise as being the 
panacea for all ills. He strongly believed in Christianity as the only 
power which could raise man to the right level. 

To quote a hackneyed expression, Mr. Tillett was a "born 
orator." He had many natural advantages — z tall and commanding 
figure ; a fine, broad, and high forehead ; piercing dark eyes (though 



314 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

so shortsighted as never to be seen without spedacles) ; a powerful 
and yet pleasant voice; a great command of language, and, above 
all, the gift of enthusiasm hy which he could sway a great multH 
tude. Could the walls of our old St. Andrew's Hall speak they 
could tell of many thousands at a time carried away by the spell of 
Mr. Tillett's eloquence. 

There was another view, however, in which the peculiar mixture 
of a many-sided character was seen. He was equally at home in 
conducting Bible Classes, where only a few men or women met 
for studying the Scriptures. In this work he took great interest, 
and in the latter part of his life, especially, his time was principally 
occupied in continuous study of the Bible, and of books in difierent 
languages which threw light upon iL His great delight was found 
in tracing analogies between things in the natural and the spiritual 
world. Although not an enthusiastic admirer of the beauties of 
nature, or at all scientific in his tastes, he yet enjoyed,above all things, 
studying such subjedls as the foreshadowings of the Resurredion 
shown in nature's spring-time, or in the life-history of a butterfly, or 
the analogy between the effed of sunlight on the healthy growth 
of plants and animals and that of mord and spiritual light upon 
man's higher nature. No one can have attended such leftures as 
he gave to ^nall classes or larger societies without wishing that all 
who try to teach others would adopt the same plan of illustrating 
abstruse subje<Eb by things which can be seen and felt. He never 
dealt in religious platitudes, and he abhorred all cant. To him Christ 
was all and in all. He deprecated long elaborate creeds, and he has 
often been heard to express his dislike of Chapel Trust Deeds in 
which a past generation strove to bind the present one to its own 
formula. He once had, as a young lawyer, to prepare a Trust Deed 
for a small Chapel on the Norfolk coast, built by a benevolent Nor- 
wich lady, in which the dodfa'ines to be taught were laid down with 
great precision — in fa^ it was a system of divinity, put into legal 
form, according to the views of this good lady. Mr. Tillett used to 
say that he was thankful he had not to declare his own assent and 
consent to all these articles, and he pitied the Pastor who would 
be asked to do it. Let us hope the days of such Trust Deeds are ^ 
passing away. I 

In the House of Commons Mr. Tillett seldom took part in the 
Debates. He entered the House too late in life to fall into its wa^ 
and he never became acclimatized to its atmosphere. His own habits 
of life had become stereotyped before he entered Parliament. He 



FIFTH PARLIAMENT 1886— 1892 315 

led a most simple life in Norwich, always dining veiy early and 
taking a daily constitutional walk round the garden at Carrow Abbey, 
where he lived from 1861 to 1885. He had measured the paths so 
that he might know when he had completed his self-assigned task 
of so many miles, and then he would return to his study. He ended 
the day by a light supper, and retired early to rest. All this was 
of course upset by life in London, and there is no doubt that the 
late hours in the House of Commons helped to diminish his strength 
more rapidly than the added years would have done had they been 
spent in Norwich. . . . 

Mr. Tillett was one who made few friends in the strong deep 
sense of the word, but his friendships, when once made, were life- 
lasting. He enjoyed quiet earnest talks with those whofti he thus 
loved and trusted, but he was naturally reserved, and shrank from 
large social gatherings. It was in the hour of trial that he proved 
the depth of his kindly feeling, and he had all a woman's sympathy 
for sorrow. 

^ His life was gentle; and the elements 

^' So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up, ■ 

^ And say to all the world, * This was a man I ' " ^ 

His useful life is now ended on earth, but he leaves to the young 
people of his native city a most precious legacy in the lessons which 
they may learn from his example. His marked charaderistics were 
intense love of study, and a desire to use his mental and spiritual 
power for the good of his fellow-citizens. One piece of advice he 
often gave to those who were beginning life, and this was to make 
a pradice of keeping a common-place book in which to enter ex- 
tiiSts from every work that they read. He went so far as to express 
his convidion that no book was worth reading unless some extra£b 
could be found deserving a place in this manuscript book. His in- 
fluence over young people was great, as it well deserved to be, and 
there are hundreds in this city who have cause to rejoice that they 
were brought into contact with him, and who will join with the 
writer of this short tribute in saying: 

^ He was a man. Take him for all in all, 
^* I shall not look upon his like again.'' ' 



Shakespeare : *' Julius Caesar," A&, 5, Sc. 5. 
Shakespeare : '* Hamlet," A€t i, Sc. 2. 



3i6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

During the Eleftion G)ntcsts of 1886, and indeed for 
long after, many hard things were said by Liberals against 
those who had broken away from them. But this was never 
my Father's plan, and he deeply r^etted the personal 
element so often brought into the discussions. 

Personally, [he wrote in June of that year,] my influence, as far 
as I am able to exert it here, is always for union among Liberals. 
Even if we have our diiFerences we need not magnify them, and 
ought not to. 

And again later he wrote : 

You know I am, in political matters, for peace and moderation, 
and hate the quarrelsome spirit I see so many evidences of all 
around. 

At the same time he admitted the Liberal Unionists did 
not always make this easy. Thus he wrote to a correspond- 
ent in 1889: 

I fully agree, as you know, with your policy of ^^ not accentuating 
the split." But I must confess that sometimes one's temper is sorely 
tried, in the House of Commons especially, with the condud of 
some who used to call themselves Liberals and Radicals, and it is a 
hard task not to show resentment. As to the arch ofiender [you 
know] pretty well that, even when he was at the height of his 
popularity with the Radical party, I never felt the least confidence 
in him. 

The so-called Round Table Conference began its sittings 
early in 1887. Its members, Lord HerscheU, Sir William 
Harcourt, Sir George Trevdyan, Mr. John Morley. and 
Mr. Joseph Chamberlain met to confer in the hope that 
the divisions in the Liberal Camp might be setded. My 
Father hoped something might have been accomplished 
by the Conference. He thought : 

Even if it does no good in the sense of any further outward step 
towards union being taken, I think it is pretty clear it won't do any 



FIFTH PARLIAMENT 1886— 1892 317 

harm, but will tend towards a better iinderstanding in the House 
itself. 

The result of the General Eledion of 1886 had been 
disastrous to the Liberal Party, and Mr. Gladstone resigned, 
being replaced by Lord Salisbury as Premier. This result 
was not unexpeAed by my Father. On June 3rd he had 
written to Mr. Arnold Morley : 

In 1874 Norfolk, Sufiblk and Cambs. (boroughs and counties) 
were swept by the Conservatives, the only exceptions, /./., the only 
two Liberal Members being Brand and myself, the former as 
minority representative for Cambs.* 

In 1085 the same 3 Counties, inclusive of the boroughs within 
their boundaries, gave 14 LiberaJs and 8 Conservatives. 

You must look for these latter figures to be seriously altered back 
for the worse. 

Little was done during the first Session of the new Par- 
liament, but the second Session of 1887 was memorable for 
the passing of the new Crimes Bill for Ireland, a Govern- 
ment measure. My Father voted against it, partly for 
reasons already stated, and partly because he felt it had 
been demonstrated that coercion had failed in its objed, 
and so a new system of government ought to be tried in 
its place. 

In December, 1886, Lord Randolph Churchill had re- 
signed the ofifice of Chancellor of the Exchequer as a protest 
in favour of economy in public administration. This was 
followed by revelations of the incompetency, coupled with 
the extravagance, that charaAerised the administration of 
our nationd defences, both naval and military. My Father 
had never reposed much trust in Lord Randolph, but he 
frankly admitted " he has done great and useful service in 



^ Cambridgeshire returned 3 Members for the undivided County 
until 1885, when it was divided into three divisions, with I Member for 
each, under the Redistnbution of Seats Adt. 



3c8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

pointing out the waste and extravagance going on in our 
military and naval afiairs,*' and felt sure that " if he would 
do what he could to promote economy with efficiency he 
would find no carping critics among the Liberal Party." 

A revived Jingoism during this Parliament again gave 
my Father the opportunity of expressing some strong views 
against the thirst for Empire. A musical item in the pro- 
gramme of one meeting he attended, the song, " The flag 
that waves o'er every se^ no matter when or where," re- 
minded him that it was one he used to sing a quarter of 
a century earlier. He added the comment that the English 
flag had to wave over a great many more places than it did 
at that time, and that if the nation did not take care they 
would allow it to wave in places where they would have a 
very hard job to proteA it, and where it might lead to dis- 
astrous international quarrels. 

The Session of 1 887 included odier Parliamentary work 
for ray Father, as he was on two G)mmitteeS) one dealing 
with the important Bill for the Manchester Ship. Canal. 

He welcomed the Local Government Ad; of 1888, 
establishing County Councils, and looked on it as ^^ a step 
towards something further." He thought it "a great and 
grand experiment in local self-government," and though he 
saw defeds in the Ad he " did not sympathize wim the 
view that the Ad is a sham." When the first County 
Council Eledions came on, he was most anxious . that 
Members should be eleded representing various classes and 
shades of opinion. 

While I should regret, [he said in a letter to Mr. IL H. Inglis 
Palgrave,] to see all the 57 Norfolk seats occupied by 57 County 
Magistrates, which would pradically mean handing the whole thing 
over to one class and one party, I should equally regret to see 57 
new and untried men returned, even if they happened to be all of 
the political and ecclesiastical party to which I belong. 

But to carry this out meant co-operation. 



FIFTH PARLIAMENT 1886— 1892 319 



It is no use, [he said in a letter to another friend,] the Magistrates 
of the County talking about keeping P*^ politics out of consf dei'a- 
tioiiy if, as soon as a Liberal Candidate appears, a Conservative is 
nominated to oppose him. 

In a speech on behalf of the candidature of his friend, 
Mr. S. N. Delf, my Father touched flirther on the question: 

Being a Nonconformist I feel it desirable that there should be a 
few Nonconformists on the County Council. Probably Churchmen 
will smile at this idea, but if the County Council should be of the 
same class as the County Magistrates there will be very few Non- 
conformists upon it The time will come when there will be an 
extension of Burial Boards in different distri£b, when something 
1^11 have to be said about Churchyards, and when various Educa^ 
tional matters will arise^ and then we shall need the presence in 
County Councils of good, sound, sturdy Nonconformists, who will 
say what they think on these questions. 

The idea was expressed that the County Councils would 
have little to do. But my Father felt from the first " that 
if the County Councils comprise men of ability, repre- 
senting different interests, fresh work will soon be found 
for them." 

Though he was sounded as to whether he would allow 
himself to be nominated as an Alderman in a County 
Council, he felt he had too many irons in the fire already 
to accede to this request 

In reviewing the Session of 1888 my Father referred to 
Sir Charles Russell's Motion on the right of holding public 
meetings in London. He felt that : 

Though the Liberals did not succeed in carrying that Motion, 
the time occupied in the Debate was not mi&^pent, and the deter- 
mination shown by the Liberal party to uphold the right of public 
meeting in London will bear fruit in the metropolis and elsewhere. 

He held strong views on the imprisonment of the Irish 
M.P.'s, which followed the Crimes Aft, and expressed him- 
self forcibly. Thus he wrote to Mr. Schnadhorst in Feb- 
ruary, 1889: 



320 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I need hardly say that I view with indignation the treatment of 
Mr. O'Brien and the other Irish M.P.'s, and consider that Mr. 
Balfour's administration of the Crimes A£t of the Government is 
calculated to drive Irishmen to the desperation which they have 
hitherto happily avoided. 

• He believed Mr. O'Brien to be a man of high honour> 
and was indignant at the taunts thrown at him by Mr. 
Balfour. Indeed of one of the latter's speeches, delivered 
in February, 1889, my Father said: 

I must confess that my blood boiled, and I would rather not say 
all I thought when I read it. Mr. Balfour, we must remember, is 
a responsible English statesman, and he is a responsible statesman 
by the votes of English Eledtors. 

Of the law under which the extensive Evidions were 
carried out in Ireland at that time, my Father said it might 
be a written law, but it was not a law sanAioned by justice, 
and he believed the laws relating to tenants needed to be 
changed. 

Politics in the year 1889 were not altogether smooth 
sailing, if one may judge fi-om glimpses seen in letters fi-om 
him to my Mother. 

July 15, 1889. As to Politics we get more angry each day, but 
I susped if the truth were to be told, the row between Govern- 
ment and their supporters is more than that between the Tories 
and Liberals. 

July 23, 1889. A precious mess now about these Grants, for it 
looks as if Mr. Gladstone will be divided from several of his Col- 
leagues on the Front Bench, and then where this will lead to no 
one can tell. 

The reference was to Royal grants for Prince Albert 
Viftor and Princess Louise of Wales. My Father said at 
the time he did not share the very strong feelings against 
them held by many Radicals, and that in any case he would 
be guided much by Mr. Gladstone, whose " long Parlia- 
mentary experience, and thorough knowledge of the Nation 



FIFTH PARLIAMENT 1886— 1892 321 

and of the Constitution/* ought, my Father contended, to 
give his judgment great weight. The subjeA of Roval 
grants had come up very early in his Parliamentary life. 
In 1 87 1 he had voted for a redudion in the grant to rrince 
Arthur " rather as a protest in favour of general economy," 
but to go further and refuse the gnnt did not, he said, 
** commend itself to my judgment.' He added : 

My belief is that the Nation is bound to provide for the Royal 
family in consideration of the virtual arrangement which was en- 
tered into at the commencement of Her Majesty's reign. More- 
over I think that the way in which the Queen fulfils her private 
duty, the example she sees, and the way in which she fills the post, 
is more than a compensation for that outward show which is some- 
times complained of in a constitutional sovereign. 

tie had a high appreciation of the way in which Queen 
Vidoria filled her position. Many years later, in 1886, he 
said though ^^r^et was expressed sometimes that the 
Queen had not come forward so frequendy on public oc- 
casions as might be fitting," yet he thought they ought to 
remember that she has 'Muties, responsibilities and 'occu- 
pations which none of us can thoroughly understand." 
And though some people might complam the Queen had 
a preference for certain statesmen, yet my Father felt " it 
is only j ust to recognise that this preference has not inter- 
fered with her rule as a constitutional sovereign." Once, 
when in the chair at a political meetin^^ he very nearly 
walked away because he disapproved or something which 
was said derogatory to the Throne, although the speaker 
was his own guest at Carrow House. On the whole he 
thought it best to remain where he was, but he gave vent 
to his feelings at the end by publicly dissociating himself 
from the remarks. Needless to say relations were some- 
what strained over the supper table on the return firom the 
meeting. 

The Tithes Rent Charge Recovery Bill of 1889 was 
another cause provocative of temper in the House that 



322 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

year. On August 14th my Father, writing to mv Mother 
from the House of Commons, gave vent to his feelings : 

Wc are almost swearing to-day — internally I think we are doing 
so, and I hardly know which is doine it the most, Tories or Liberals 
— the former brought up about a BUI they don't like, and the latter 
at Government backing out half way instead of the whole way. 

Then came a sudden calm. Two days later he could 
report: 

All 's well that ends well, and the Session is pradlically over — 
Tithes Bill being gone. 

In the same year, 1889, a Royal Commission was ap- 
pointed to inquire into the working of the Vaccination 
A6ks. With the appointment of that Commission, and the 
modification of the existing laws that was the outcome of 
it, my Father was in warm sympathy. It was a subjeA in 
which many of his Constituents took a special interest, for 
in 1 882 the subjeft was brought into prominence in Norwich 
owing to the deaths of some children, due, it was alleged, 
to vaccination, and the Local Government Board sent down 
an InspeAor to hold an Inquiry. Before the Public In- 
quiry took place my Father caused some private investiga- 
tions to be made by some one in whom he placed confid- 
ence. He was careful, in thus trying to get at the truth, 
to give an opportunity to the medical man specially in- 
culpated to put 4iis own side of the question in answer to 
a printed pamphlet bringing charges against him. My 
Father's view, after learning the Report of the Inspedor, 
was: 

Though it admitted the laxity of the Norwich Vaccination 
Officers, it did not, in my judgment, speak as strongly as it should 
have done with reference to the cases brought under review. 

His position was that though he was ^* not prepared to 
consider vaccination otherwise than as useful and beneficent 
on the whole," and though he submitted to re-vaccination 



FIFTH PARLIAMENT 1886— 1892 323 

himself, yet he felt that parents who had conscientious ob- 
jeftions ought to be protefted by the law. Moreover, he 
thought the law as it then stood — the so-called compulsory 
clauses not being universally obligatory, as the rich man 
could evade them by fines, while the poor man had to 
submit — ^was both illogical and unjust. In 1887 ^^ ''^^^ 
asked to take the matter up, and he wrote to several M.P.'s, 
including Sir Joseph Pease, with a view to getting the law 

altered. 

July 5, 1887. 

Dear Sir Joseph, 

An Anti- Vaccination Deputation yesterday came to see me, 
and in the course of conversation your zAion in the matter was 
mentioned — a Motion you had on the paper, but I believe had no 
opportunity to move. 

But what I specially write about is this. A few years ago,^ in 
writing to the Norwich Anti- Vaccinators, I had said I would sup- 
port ^some arrangement, if one could be made, whereby the 
Parents, when registering the birth of a child, might secure its ex- 
emption from Vaccination, by protesting their serious objediion to 
the performance of the Operation." 

My friends asked me whether a proposal embodying this sug- 
gestion could not be usefully brought before Parliament. And I 
undertook to have a word on the subjed with a few members who 
were interested in the subjeA, amongst whom is yourself. I shall 
hope therefore to have some talk with you about it, before long, 
when I meet you in the House. 

Yours fiiithfiilly 

J. J. COLMAN. 

My Father backed a Bill for modifyinfi^ the law as it 
then stood, and also expressed his views by speaking, as 
well as by voting, in the House of Commons. 

In the autumn of 1890 there came a staggering blow to 
the Irish Cause with the revelation of the sordid story con- 
ncAcd with the private life of the Leader of the Irish Home 
Ride Party. My Father's views on the subjeft, expressed 
in a letter dated November 2 1 st, were that : 

' In 1883. 



324 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Personally I have a strong feeling that, both in the interests of 
morality, and as a matter of advantage to the Home Rule cause 
and the Liberal Party generally, Mr. Parnell ought to resign his 
leadership. 

During the first few days, when Mr. Gladstone remained 
silent, waiting for some communication on Mr. Parnell's 
side, my Father, who, as one of their number, had probably 
better opportunities of gauging the feelings of Noncon- 
formists than Mr. Gladstone, felt it his duty to let him 
know how strong the feeling was that had been roused 
amongst them on the subjeA. It was not that he felt this 
was confined to Nonconformists, but he knew their opinion 
would tell heavily on the fate of the Irish policy when it 
had to be settled at the Polls. 

Private. Carrow House, Norwich. 

20 Nov., 1890. 

Dear Mr. Gladstone, 

First let me say I do not write this to trouble you with need- 
less correspondence or for any reply unless you desire, and then for 
no public use. I simply write because in the uncertainties of this 
unhappy ^ Parnell Afiair," I think you ought to know the view 
Nonconformists take of the position. 

It is, I think, this — ^We do not desire that the Irish cause or the 
Liberal party should sufier for Mr. Parnell's fault, but we know 
that if he persists in remaining at the head of the Irish Party, and 
if the Irish Party generally take the attitude many of them do, of 
insisting on his continuing their Leader, the following will be the 
efied on very large numbers of Nonconformist Ele^rs. They 
will say: 

^ We will not trust the Irish nation to Mr. Parnell, and by his 
remaining as Leader we see he is the Didbitor of Irish opinion, and 
the Irish members who support him and speak of his honour, etc., 
are no more worthy of support than he is. 

On the other hand, if Mr. Parnell retires and the Irish demand 
remains unabated (as no doubt it will), the Liberal Party here will 
say, ^^ The man vou called Di&ator, and to whom you ascribed all 
the desire of Ireland for Home Ride, has retired, but the demand 
remains the same, and must be granted,*' and they will say this 
with efied. 



FIFTH PARLIAMENT 1886— 1892 325 

I refer you to two extrads in to-day's "Times,** from Dr. 
CItiFord, and the " Methodist Times.** I do not discuss whether 
they are right or wrong, but simply assure vou they speak the views 
of the overwhelming nuijority of the English Nonconformists. 

You will I know excuse me for troubling vou with this. 

Yours faithfully 

J. J. COLMAK. 

On November 20th my Father had expressed to another 
Liberal Politician some of his views on the situation : 

I just want to write you a line on the present position of this 
ParncU afiair. If I judge the matter aright, some, at all events, of 
the London Press, both leader writers and correspondents, are 
utterly out of touch with Nonconformist feeling in the country. • . . 

I should not mind predicting, that if an Election came on in a 
moderately short time from now, if Parnell persists in his present 
position, the chances of winning seats in such constituencies as 
Lowestoft, Ipswich, Lynn, East Norfolk, S.W. Norfolk, is pra£ti- 
cally hopeless, though a week ago there was a hit prosped in each 
of these cases. 

When writing on December loth, 1890, he said he was 
** quite prepared to say that if Home Rule was right, and 
G>ercion wrong, a month ago, they are still respeiftively 
right and wrong now, in spite of all that has passed," but 
in discussing the political atmosphere with a correspondent 
on December 1 6th my Father took a very pessimistic view 
as to the tStA of what had happened. 

I am sorry to say, [he wrote,] I sympathize very much with your 
serious view of the situation. In fad I am afraid that Liberalism 
in the country has, for the time being, received a desperate blow. 
And unfortunately the adion of a large sedtion of the Irish people 
doesn't tend to lessen the difficulty. 

In 1 89 1 the G>mmittee of Sdedtion of the House of 
G>mmons appointed my Father a Member of a Committee 
on Railway Rates and Charges. As, however, his Firm 
was petitioning a£[ainst Bills which would come before the 
Committee, he fdt the only proper course was to ask to be 



326 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

discharged from serving. In a letter written to my Mother 
on March 1 8th he referred to the incident: 

I was put on a Railway Committee of a good deal of interest 
and importance. I knew nothing of it till last night, but as we are 
petitioning against the Bills I imagine I am not [P properly] ^* quali- 
fied" to scrv.e. .1 have seen some of the Authorities to-day, and 
imagine I shall be struck off the list. 

The aftion he took was quite independent of, and prior 
to, any objedion that was raised by the Railway Companies. 
But as the question was brought before the House of 
Commons, through a correspondence which ensued between 
Lord Stalbridge and Sir John R. Mowbray, Bart., my Father 
put his position clearly in a letter to the latter which was 
read beiore the House, for, as he explained in a letter to 
another Member, " I don't want the Railway Manae^ers to 
think that I wished to keep in an anomalous position." 
Sir John Mowbray, in his reply to my Father, stated: 

I read your letter to^ay to the House. Every one appreciated 
the way in which you aded, and I think the House at large was 
entirely satisfied. 

In 1892 my Father completed 21 years of service as 
M.P. for Norwich, and the Liberal Party made this event 
the occasion for a Presentation. It took the form of replicas 
of the silver-gilt rose water dish and ewer presented by the 
Hon. Henry Howard, afterwards Duke 01 Norfolk, to the 
Norwich Corporation in 1663. The dish was in the main 
a gift from the Liberal Party, but my Father was gratified 
to learn that some of those who took no aftive part in 
politics, or were even his political opponents, including the 
Bishop of Norwich (the Right Rev. the Hon. John T. 
Pelham) and Mr. Robert Fitch, had specially wished to be 
allowed to subscribe, as friends, if not political supporters. 
The ewer was given by members of the Gladstone Club, 
of which my Father was President. The dish was presented 



FIFTH PARLIAMENT 1886— 1892 327 

at a Meeting held in St. Andrew's Hall on April 26th, 
when the Right Hon. A. J. Mundella, M.P., an old friend 
of his, took part in the proceedings. My Father was much 
touched by the many kind things said on that occasion. 
^ I ot^y hope and trust I shall not be spoiled by over-much 
praise,'* he said, and he looked back on the gatherings as 
"a very pleasant memory." Mr. Mundella's testimony was 
that ** there is no man in the House of Commons — I say 
it without hesitation — ^who is more thoroughly respefted 
than your senior member, Mr.' Colman." Ana he added, 
in sketching his charaderistics: 

I heard one of the most eloquent men on the Episcopal Bench 
a few Sundays ago describing what ought to be esteemed as the 
noblest charaderistics in public men. And first, he said simplicity. 
I know no truer simplicity than is in my honoiuable friend. And 
next, sincerity. I think no one could ever charge him with insin- 
cerity. And third, sympathy. Thank God he has never been want- 
ing in that. And fourth, readiness for service. He has always been 
faithful to his duty and ready to serve. 

My Mother described the Meeting in a letter to her 
brother Herbert the following day: 

I very much wish you could have been with us last night. It was 
a crowded meeting— over 2,000, I imagine, and great numbers 
stood all the time at the end of the hall. ... It was a great ordeal 
for Jeremiah and me, and I dreaded it much beforehand, but when 
it came to the point there was so much kind feeling expressed that 
we could not but feel gratified. The present is a copy — "replica** 
is the technical term I suppose — of the rose water dish and ewer 
from the Corporation plate of this old City. The donors could not 
have chosen anything Jeremiah would have liked better. The dish 
was given last night, and the ewer will be presented by the Glad- 
stone Club to-night. 

The Gladstone Qub fundtion took the form of a dinner, 
and among those who took part in the speeches was my 
Father's old fi-iend, the Rev. J. Guinness Rogers. 

Amongst the kind expressions received at that time was 



328 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

a letter, from which it may perhaps be permissible to quote, 
from the Rev. J. C. Harrison to my Father, whose mend- 
ship with him, and also with my Mother's family, had been 
of long standing, and whose charming personality always 
made him specially welcome when he came to Gorton as a 
guest at The Clyffe. 

It is a great thing to remain steady in principle and stainless in 
chanu^er for twenty-one years, and so to have the testimony of 
one's own conscience and in that the commendation of God him- 
self. 

But it is, perhaps, a more remarkable thing to fill a public and 
responsible position for twenty-one years, and through all that time 
to live in the very midst of the people whose representative one is, to 
have their eyes fixed on one, and their opportunities of knowing all 
and criticising all unchecked for a moment, and at the end of such a 
period to hear them one and all say " Well done " — that, I say, is 
a very great, a very remarkable thing, — one's own judgment and 
the public's verdi£l the same, — and yet that, my friend, is the honour 
and the gratification which has fallen on you. I do congratulate 
you very warmly and very sincerely, because I feel that you have de- 
served it all. ... I have not been merely an outside acquaintance, 
but I have spent days under your hospitable roof and have seen you 
in the midst of your own &mily. For what a man is in public, we 
may honmir him, but only for what he is at home can we Uve him, 
and / can offer my dear friend both honour and love. 



CHAPTER XXI 

SIXTH PARLIAMENT 
1892 1895: AGBD 62 65 

(liberal administration) 

_ * 

THE General Ele6Hon of 1892 came in the summer. 
The result, placing the existence of a Liberal Govern- 
ment at the mercy of the Irish Nationalists, did not sur- 
prise my Father as much as many. He had expressed his 
belief on May 9th " that the Liberal majority is not likely 
to be the big one some people fancy." 

During his Contest he endeavoured to impress on the 
Eledlors " the vital importance of straight and square sup- 
port to the two candidates, and through them to Mr. Glad- 
stone and Home Rule." His colleague, whose seledion by 
the Liberal Association had been ratified at a Public Meet- 
ins, was Mr. James Bedford, of London, who stood as a 
Liberal and a Labour Candidate. 

An unpleasant feature of the Contest was the publication 
in the " Norfolk Standard " of a paper marked " Private 
and Confidential " which "had been drawn up by my Father 
as Chairman of the Norwich Municipal Charities (General 
List), and was intended for the consideration of his Fellow 
Trustees only. It referred to a new Scheme for the ad- 
ministration of some of the Charities, and as it touched on 
questions arousing a good deal of local interest, upon which 
' uiere was considerable difference of opinion, the publication 
of it on the eve of the Eledion seemed obviously intended 

3«9 



330 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

to influence those voters who were not likely to agree with 
his suggestions. His comment on the affair was : 

That political zeal has in this matter and in some quarter over- 
come discretion and fairness is, I think, perfedUy certain. 

He felt that the publication of the Memorandum, from 
whatever source, was ^^ ^ gross breach of confidence," and 
that it was *^ an unfair way of fighting a political battle," an 
opinion which his Fellow Trustees endorsed by passing a 
Resolution in which they ^' deeply deplored its unauthorised 
publication." 

Though the Eleftion was a comparatively quiet one, my 
Father regretted that the opposing party should again have 
had recourse to four horses and postillions. This kind of 
playing-to-the-gallery method he thought unworthy of the 
seriousness of an Election, and one bringing back methods 
of the older eledioneering days, in which both parties had 
induced, which it was most important to try to obliterate. 
The EleAion took place on July 6th, with the following 
result: 

S. Hoare (G)n.) 7,7 1 8 

J. J. G>lman (Lib.) 7,407 
J. Bedford (Lib.) 6,811 

My Father's views on it were embodied in letters written 
at the time. To his cousin, Jeremiah Colman, he wrote : 

You will see the result of our EIe£lion, ^nd that I am second 
instead of at the top. 

I have had some few personal matters of difficulty in the contest, 
as to pledges I would not take, and with reference to my action rt 
some Norwich Charities, but, broadly speaking, I come to the con- 
clusion that there is a strong feeling amongst a great many quiet 
citizens of at least apathy, if not hostility, about Home Rule." 

In another letter he gave as his opinion : 

And I must come to the conclusion that in Norwich distrust of 
extreme legislation, and also doubt about Home Rule, are the 
reasons why I am second instesid of first on the PolL ... • • 



SIXTH PARLIAMENT 1892— 1895 331 

I am afraid we must come to the conclusion that, taking the 
country through^ there is a stronger feeling of distrust as to the 
Irish than we calculated upon. And, to a great extent, this is the 
fault of the Irish party themselves. In addition to the disruption 
respeding Parnell's leadership, we can none of us help feeling, I 
think, that the way in which the quarrel is kept up takes away 
materially from the sympathy with the Irish nation. I don't say 
that this is a just feeling, but it is not an unnatural one. 

Parliament met in August, and Lord Salisbury's Goverh- 
ment was defeated on the nth of that month. He resigned, 
and the veteran leader, Mr. Gladstone, again took the lead. 

The interest of 1893, as far as Parliamentary history was 
concerned, centred round the new Home Rule Bill, intro- 
duced by Mr. Gladstone on February 13th, and subse- 
quendy rejeAed by the House of Lords. My Father was 
never very sanguine about the issue. 

Queer times here, [was his report from the House of Commons 
to my Mother, on March 3rd, 1893,] and progress very slow. I 
can't understand the confidence some people feel that ^^ all will come 
right " with Home Rule, etc., etc. 

On April 21st he wrote again: 

Here we are at another stage in this Bill. I wish I could think 
it the final one, though no doubt it is a necessary one. . • • I have 
been trying to learn about next week, and hope not to have to come 
back, but the glorious uncertainty of the law is, I think, nothing 
compared with that of Parliament. 

On May 31st, writing to my Mother in reference to 
Mr. Gladstone and the Bill, he said : 

I had a chat with Mr. G. ... He said he believed he was kept 
strong enouffh for his work through the Prayers of the people, and 
is as intensely in earnest as to the Bill as man ever was about any- 
thing. How he will stand it all I do not know, and I judge firom 
a ta& with Herbert G. his family don't know how he will get 
through the work. 



332 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Liberal M.P/s were kept hard at work in the House of 
Gammons. An uncertain majority to be reckoned on made 
constant attendance imperative, and pairs were difficult to 
get during that phenomenally long Session. Breathing 
spaces were hardly earned. To one lellow M.P. my Father 
wrote on August 26th : 

Our pair is till the end of September except for the 3rd reading 
of the Home Rule Bill. ... I have been luxuriating in the rest, 
and hope you have done the same— only I fear I rather crowed 
too much over some friends who have had to stay in town. 

On August 30th he was in the House to hear Mr. 
Gladstone's speech in moving the 3rd Reading of the Home 
Rule BiD. 

I got up to the House about 12.30, [he wrote to my Mother J so 
heard the greater part of Mr. G.'s speech. He was in good voice, 
and though it was less of an ^' Eloquent Oration " than I had ez- 
pe£led, it is interesting to have been here. The House itself, how- 
ever, to-day is calm and quiet — much more than it will be on 
Friday. 

The same account was given .the following day : 

The House is quietness itself again to-day, and one can hardly 
realize that such an historical event will be taking place to-morrow 
night, when I daresay we shall have a scene of wild excitement, at 
least amongst the Irish. 

The 3rd Reading of the Home Rule Bill was carried in 
the House of Commons by 301 against 267, giving a 
majority of 34 for the Government. 

My Father's views on the Session, expressed at the end 
of the year, were : 

The House of Commons has passed 2 measures of first rate im- 
portance — the Home Rule Bill and the Employers* Liability Bill* 
One of these has been completely rejected by the House of Lords, 
the other has been mutilated and largely spoiled. 



SIXTH PARLIAMENT 1892— 1895 333 

The Parish G>uncil8 Bill was introduced in 1 893, though 
not passed till the following year. My Father rejoiced when 
it became law, and believed that it would do great good in 
the long run, but he thought, *^ there is a probability of 
anticipating too quick results from it.*' He was one of 
those eleded to serve on the Parish Council at Corton, feel- 
ing glad, he wrote to another member, ** if we can, all to- 
gether, do anything for the good of Corton.*' 

The Session of 1894, pardy concerned with the passage 
of this Bill, was not a very serene one, the Liberal Party 
being considerably disorganised, and the tension between 
the two Houses considerable. Letters from my Father to 
my Mother during those months reveal something of the 
strain: 

Feb. 14th, 1894. Temper seems to be calmed down again here 
to-night, and certainly there seems in the Lobby and House .no 
sign of intense quarrel between the two Houses— *in &£l I have still 
an idea it, /.# ., the " War to the Knife,** won't come during the 
next few weeks. . • . 

Feb. 15th, 1894. Politics are getting warm now, and I expert 
we shall have plenty of bad temper during the next few days. The 
expectation just now is that this Parish Council Bill will take 4 
nights. 

March 13th, 1894. . . . To make amends I have just heard 
from th^ Whip that he has paired die if needful to the /tm/ of April. 
I wonder whether this will cover the Election, and whether I am 
having my closing time in the House of Commons. I think it 
quite possible that it is so. 

May 8th, 1894. You will see there is to be a good deal of ex- 
citement on Thursday night, and the Government don't exped even 
a majority of 14 this time. ... I am v^ry sorry I can't be at home 
to wish you many happy returns [of your birthday] in a more em- 
phatic way than by letter. . . • Ferhaps another year Parliament 
•may not be an obstacle. 

July 27th, 1 894. I have escaped to the Division Lobby from the 
House amidst a disgraceful scene, and I suppose we are to have a 
continuance of them. 

Meanwhile there had been a change of Leadership for the 



334 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Liberal Party. On February 14th, 1 894, my Father wrote, 
" I am sorry to say by universal consent Mr. Gladstone 
seems visibly to have aged." On March 3rd his resignation 
of the Premiership was announced, and Lord Rosebery took 
his place. My Father did not hesitate a moment in giving 
a loyal support to the new Premier, whom he had on two 
occasions welcomed as his guest at Carrow House, once in 
1888 when he came for some shooting, and again in 1889 
when he came to make a political speech. 

Will you allow me, [he wrote to him immediately after he had 
accepted office,] to congratulate you on the high position you have 
attained, and at the same time to say I think the Liberal Party owe 
you a very deep debt of gratitude for taking the Premiership at such 
a difficult time ? 

The Liberal Party dragged on through the spring of 
1895, though without very much life in it. On February 
9th my Father, in a letter to my Mother, voiced the feeling 
of the House : 

You will have seen there was no triumphant division last night 
for the Government. . . . The general consensus of opinion is in- 
creasing that the Liberals will get a thrashing at the next Election, 
in hi£k I don't come across any one who thinks very differendy. 

In April he was much interested in hearing the closing 
speech of the Right Hon. A. W. Peel (now Lord Peel) as 
Speaker of the House of Commons, his interest being in- 
creased by having entertained him as a guest at Corton both 
in 1892 and 1894. His description of it was given in a 
letter to my Mother on April 8th : 

You will see in the Newspapers the accoimt of Mr. Peel's speech 
on resigning the Speakership— a very good one and delivered splen-^ 
didly, with good voice and without a hitch in a word. Altogether 
the scene was one which impresses itself on the memory, and I am 
glad to have been [present]. 

On June 7th, 1895, my Father reported to his wife: 



SIXTH PARLIAMENT 1892— 1895 335 

There is not much political news, but I must confess at the mo- 
ment dissolution looks less immediate than it did a short time back, 
so I fear my time of release is not just yet. 

The strain on him that Session was much increased by 
my Mother's illness, and when his " time of release " came 
— a time she had so often looked forward to— it was three 
days after her death. 

The close of the Parliament came in July, for the Govern- 
ment, defeated on a side issue in reference to the ppply of 
cordite during a debate on Army Reform, determined to 
resign, and Parliament was dissolved on the 8th. Lord 
Rosebery went out of office, and after the Dissolution Lord 
Salisbury again came back to power. This had not been 
unexpeAed by my Father. Indeed just after the General 
Eleftion he had written, on Sept. 27th, 1892, in a letter to 
Mr. Schnadhorst: 

I am bound to say that I look to the early future with a good 
deal of anxiety. If we had not had Mr. Gladstone's name as leader 
last July, the voting in the Eastern Counties would have given a 
very dinerent result, and as the next Election will probably be 
fought without his leadership, and under new circumstances and 
combinations, a Liberal majority in these counties seems to me very 
unlikely. 

He prophesied further that, when the Conservatives 
came back to power, they would be a number of years in 
office — a prophecy which time has not belied. 



CHAPTER XXII 

RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 
1895: AGED 65 

THE Eleftion of 1892 was the last one in which my 
Father took part. As soon as it was over, he felt it 
only fisiir to warn the leader of the Liberal Party in Norwich 
he was not likely to contest the seat again. He wished it 
to be clearly understood he did not consider the &)n- 
stituency bound to ask him to stand again, nor, in such an 
event, should he fed bound to accept. If the Parliament 
were a long one it was extremely unlikely, at the age he 
would then have reached, that he would wish '^ to continue 
the responsibilities and cares of the office." Nor even if 
it were a short one would he be likely to do so. At the 
last Eledion it had been mainly his loyalty to Mr. Glad- 
stone, and the hope of enabling him to settle the Irish 
Question, which made him, he said, " subordinate my own 
feelings to what I hoped might be the advantage of the 
party generally." His feelings remained unchanged. Eight 
months later he said he could " scarcely conceive of any 
circumstances arising which would make me prepared to 
contest the City." 

Probably under no circumstances would he have stood 
again when the time came, but one thing which certainly 
influenced his decision was what he described as ^'the 
growing custom on the part of different societies to obtain 
replies to series of questions, and to extraA pledges with 
respeft to legislative proposals, from candidates at Parlia- 

336 



RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 337 

mentaiy Ele^ons." This ^^ fresh miseiy/' as he called it, 
he much disliked. 

Is it not better, [he had asked in 1885 J to accustom the new 
voters to choose their candidates hj their principles rather than 
their promises? 

It was said of my Father, " half a promise from him is 
better than a whole promise from many candidates,'* and 
there was a good deal of truth in the remark. He was 
once being driven in a Constituency, far from his own, re- 
presented by a Member of a very advanced Radical type. 
My Father asked the driver if the Member were likely to 
be returned again, and was amused at the reply, the quick 
" O, yes I " followed by the meditative aside, " Leastways 
he will if he does all he *s promised." The glib way, as my 
Father described it, of " promising a lot of things which 
are neither possible nor desirable," in which many candi- 
dates indulged, was very different from his method. 

Nor did he think the habit of exading pledges was ^'a 
good augury for the future." Of course he recognized 
that people had the right to try to promote their own 
views, and to ascertain the general principles of candidates 
before voting for them. But this was quite diflferent from 
the " system of cross-questioning them, and tying them 
down to this, that, and the other. This growing habit of 
forcing categorical questions on candidates, ta which a 
definite answer of " yes " or " no " was expeA^d, leaving 
no room for all the side issues on which so much often de- 
pended, and making them test questions, so that votes were 
withdrawn if they were not satisfadorily answered, was not, 
he felt, the way to get the best candidates. His advice, 
as given in a speech in 1 89 1 in reeard to Municipal Politics, 
to which he thought the same pnnciples applied, was: 

Get a man in whose principles you believe, and a sound supporter 
of the party to which you belong, and then give him your hearty 
support, your fullest confidence, and trust him to exercise his judg- 

z 



338 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

menc. • . . It is not by restriftive aAion that groit principles have 
been carried into effed. If there had been anything of that sort in 
vogue at the time of the agitation over the Corn Laws, the aboli- 
tion of them would not have been achieved. A certain amount of 
freedom was vested in the great leader of that time, Sir Robert 
Peel, and so the reform was brought about. The Ek&ors would 
do much better to give their representatives a proper latitude than 
to tie them down to a rigid uniformity of opinioh. 

One great danger of the system of Test Questions, as 
he clearly saw, was that when voters abstained from voting, 
because a candidate could not go quite as j^ as they did 
in some particular view, it frequently happened they let in 
the opposing candidate, whose views led him diametrically 
in the opposite diredion. This, in his opinion, was very 
prejudicial to the interests of good legislation and true 
progress. 

Nor was the danger limited to one class of Associations. 
With Temperance Societies, Labour Leagues, Disestablish- 
ment Associations, and Anti-Vaccinationist Societies all 
running their particular tenets as Test Questions, my Father 
felt there was a grave danger of splitting up the Liberal 
Party, so that the solution of problems, or parts of pro- 
blems, on which all were agreed, had to be postponed in- 
definitely. 

Doubtless those who asked my Father questions some- 
times got unexpeAed and unwelcome replies. To one who 
inquired if he did not think there were persons incarcerated 
in lunatic asylums who ought to have been left out, he 
promptly replied he knew nothing about that, but. he was 
perfeAly certain a good many were left outside who ought 
to have been in. 

During the 1892 Eledtion he had what he described as 
" a correspondence with a Temperance Organization, pro- 
dudive 01 none too amiable feelings, at least on my part" 
Not only in his own Constituency, but in others, he thought 
" the extreme demands put forth by the teetotalers do 



RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 339 

mischief.'* Such questions as those of Sunday Closing;, 
Local Option, or Compensation, he had found veiy difEciut 
to answer categorically, without app)earing evasive, for to 
his mind everting depended on the details of the Bills 
dealing with them. 

It must not be inferred from the foregoing remarks that 
my Father was out of sympathy with the movement for 
counteraAing the crying evils of intemperance. But while 
supporting it by his sympathy, financial help, and votes in 
the House of Commons, he had his own views as to the 
best methods of trying to establish that change in the habits 
of the people which all Temperance Reformers have at 
heart. W hile frankly admitting their good intentions and 
devoted labours, and the right to follow their own judg- 
ment, he sometimes felt that their zeal out-ran discretion, 
and put back the solution of this difficult problem, instead 
of hastening it on. 

On the Sunday Closing Question his views were em- 
bodied in a letter, dated December 13th, 1888: 

I have at least never yet seen my way to support the complete 
closing of Public-houses on Sunday by Imperial enadment. I would 
gladly see the hours during which these houses are open on Sunday 
very materially reduced ; and I have given my vote in favour of 
allowing each locality the power even to close its own houses en- 
tirely on Sundays. But I am of opinion that no good can come of 
attempting to force the closing on unwilline distri^ and I could 
not therefore support the Sunday Closing Bill as it stands. 

Unless public opinion were educated up to this point he 
felt the danger of forcing on a reform which might either 
lead to a reaftion in the other diredion, or else to subter- 
fuges for evading the law. 

My Father, though not always in agreement with the 
policy of the United Kingdom Alliance, with which Sir 
Wilfrid Lawson has been so closely identified, supported 
his Local Option Resolutions in the House of Commons 
for giving the inhabitants of a distriA the power to re- 



340 JEREMIAH JAMES COLNtAN 

strain the issue or renewal of liquor licences, thus giving 
more direft control of licences into the hands of the rate- 
payers. But he did not consider it wise to entrust this to 
a iare majority. Thus he declined to supi)ort a Bill for 
England on these lines, but willingly gave his support to 
one for Wales on different lines. Writing in 1891 he said: 

I must say that mv present feeling is that I cannot vote for a 
Bill which, if I read it aright, will confer on a bare majority the 
power to close all public houses within a year with no sort of com- 
pensation. 

The question of the exaA proportion of the majority, to 
whom such power should be entrusted, he admitted was ^^a 
moot point.' 

Nor could my Father see his way to oppose all compen- 
sation to those whose licences were withdrawn: But this 
was a totally difierent thing from supporting such amount 
of compensation as might happen to be fixed by a Licensed 
Viduallers' Association. So he explained to his Constitu- 
ents in 1892: 

I voted against what I deemed the extravagant, not to say out- 
rageous, proposals in the Local Government Ad, in what were 
popularly known as the Public-house Endowment Clauses, and 
any proposal on such lines should have my strong opposition. I 
wish also to say this — ^the excessive pretensions which have been 
put forth by many of the licensed vi&uallers and brewers are such 
as tend to alienate, rather than conciliate, those who desire to deal 
justly with their claims. For instance, we all know that during the 
past few years private breweries have been turned into public com- 
panies, some of them at extravagant rates, and to say that the com- 
pensation for doing away with any of the companies' houses must 
be such as to recoup the shareholders for the fancy price at which 
they took the houses over, is, in my opinion, an absurd proposal, 
and not to be entertained for a moment 

And though, as he said to a correspondent on May 1 5th, 
1890, **my position is that the licensed vidualler shoiild 
be paid some equitable compensation/' yet he added: 



RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 341 

I must demur to your phrase ^^ a full recognition of their legal 
rights and interests." I have never admitted that they have a 
"legal " claim. 

Still he thought, in cases where the licence was not 
withdrawn on the ground of misconduA, that: 

• 

The settlement of the vexed licensing question, so much to be 
desired in the interests of temperance, is likely to be rather retarded 
than forwarded by the refusal to consider any moderate and equit- 
able scheme of compensation. 

He quoted as an analogous case the payment made by 
England to liberate the slaves in her possessions, a payment 
which it might be argued was based on no legal claim, but 
one which ^^accomplished a work which would otherwise 
have been hopelessly retarded. He felt, too, that in his 
own case, as a private individual, or as representing a Firm, 
he had been able to close some public-houses, but this 
would have been manifestly impossible had he declined to 
give any extra money as compensation, beyond what the 
a&ual buildings were worth. Thus in a letter dated May 
7th, 1892, he put his position: 

Since my Firm removed to Carrow they have closed 6 out of the 
9 Public Houses which formerly existed within a ^mile of the 
Works (only 2 of these 6 forming part of the present Factory 
premises); at Trowse 3 have been closed out of 6, which did exist 
there; at Corton there is now i instead of 2. . • . But we had to 
give more than the places were worth apart from the license. If I 
had said, ^^ I won't give a fraction more than the place is worth,'' 
there would have been more public-houses open to-day than there 
are, and I should have regretted the fa£t. 

He did not say " that the Public should be asked to pay 
at the rate I have had to pay for closing the houses referred 
to," but he contended for " the expediency and in certain 
cases the justice of some compensation." To the question, 
" But where are the funds to come from for this purpose i " 
he replied: 



342 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I think the Rates might pay something, but there is another and 
better source, viz., the trade itself, through the increased charge for 
licenses to those houses which remain. 

My Father believed that lessening the number of public- 
houses would lessen the amount of intemperance. He used 
to quote a case that came under his notice, when, after 
having made a short cut for the people in the Village of 
Corton, a working man was heard to say, " That path saves 
me 2J. a week " — ^because previously he could never resist 
the temptation of entering the public-house which he was 
obliged to pass daily. But he believed there was another 
way, quite as important, of coping with the drink problem, 
and that was by providing counter attradions in the form 
of coffee-houses. He showed his praftical interest in this 
by putting one up at Corton, with a Bowling Green 
attached, and, in conjunction with his Partners, another 
at Trowse, besides giving facilities for his own Workpeople 
at Carrow to obtain non^ntoxicating drinks on the pre- 
mises. In the early days of his Parliamentary life he sup- 
ported the Habitual Drunkards' Bill of Dr. Dalrymple 
(facetiously known, from his ardour in the cause, as ^^ the 
Habitual Drunkard" by his fellow Members in the House), 
and my Father approved of the legislation for restrifting 
the sale of intoxicating drinks to children. Sometimes he 
took adlion in other ways. Thus, though keenly interested 
in encouraging thrift in the young, he refused to subscribe 
to a Juvenile Oddfellows Lodge, because he thought the 
close connexion between the Lodge room and a public- 
house very undesirable. And he declined financial assist- 
ance to a Radical Working Men's Institute because the 
room was opened on Sundays for the supply of intoxicat- 
ing drinks. 

• Disestablishment is another subjeft often made a Test 
Question for Parliamentary candidates by its supporters. 
My Father's views in favour of it, as already indicated, were 



RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 343 

sufficiently strong and definite, but his opinion, as he ex- 
pressed it in 1885, was: 

When there are so many great questions before the Liberal 
Party, I doubt the wisdom of making the Disestablishment of the 
Church a test question for candidates. 

In that year it so happened that a friend of his, an ardent 
Liberal, in whose political judgment he had the greatest 
confidence, was rejefted for a Constituency on this ground. 
My Father wrote regretting that the Nonconformists should 
rged so good a candidate, because he did not, on this 

?uestion, "go the whole way they want immediately." 
^erhaps the 20 years that have elapsed, leaving the Ques- 
tion as unsettled as ever, may show the wisdom of his 
views. 

To be pressed to give pledges on Labour questions he 
disliked as much as to give those on Temperance ones. 

I have always, [he wrote in January, 1 893,] been ready to support 
Legislation on Radical and on Labour lines, provided it seemed to 
me to be for the general wel&re, but I am not prepared to take any 
pledges to fiivour specially the proje£ls of any section of the Party. 

My Father was glad to feel, so he said in a speech in 
1892, that: 

The Labour legislation of the Liberal Party has been towards 
equality between man and man. 

But in this, as in other matters, he felt that: 

Something more needs to be done to complete the edifice, to 
finish the work on which the Liberal Party has been engaged. 

As early as 1874 he explained some of his views on 
Labour questions to a Deputation from some Trade So- 
cieties. Though l^islation was necessary to proted the 
Workmen, he had mcM-e faith in mutual consideration be- 
tween Employers and Employed, and he told the Depiita- 



344 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

tion then, "as an Employer of about 1,500 Workpeorfe," 
that he believed " all differences of opinion between tm- 
. ployer and Employed might, if they both had a determina- 
tion to do what was right, be amicably settled." On the 
legislative side of the question he told the same Deputation 
that: 

Any exceptional legislation in fiivour of the Employer is certainly 
contrary to the spirit of the present age, and such as should be put 
an end to. Of course that means, pradically, that the Criminal 
Law Amendment Ad as it stands is not satisfadory, and such is 
my opinion. 

On the question of Compensation for Injuries to Work- 
men, not at that time one of praftical legislation, he ad- 
mitted, on the same occasion, it was a difficult thing to 
legislate about, because, as every one who has to do with 
large Works knows, accidents with machinery are frequently 
the result of negligence on the part of those who work the 
machines. But at the same time he could not see why an 
Employer should not be responsible if he, by negleft, 
caused injury to those in his employ, and in later years, as 
already stated, he was glad to help forward legislation on 
the subjeft. 

His views on the Eight Hours Question were given in 
a speech in 1892, in reference to a Bill before the House 
dealing with miners, which he felt compelled, though 
reluftantly, to vote against. He admitted there was much 
to be said as to the hardships and danger of the miner's 
work, and that: 

If the miners — as a body— or members of other dangerous trades, 
come forward anything like unanimously with a request of this 
kind for legislative prote^ion the House of Commons may be bound 
to grant it. 

But the miners were by no means unanimous, and when 
Mr. Burt (of whom my Father said no man had stood 



RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 345 

before the Coundy with a more unblemished reputation as 
a typical miners' Representative), Mr. Fenwick and Mr. 
Broadhurst opposed the Bill as injurious to the interests 
of the miners, he felt his best course was to follow their 
advice. In the sam^ speech he continued: 

As to the general question of hours of labour^ an eight hours hard 
and fest rule is a thing that must come gradually, if it comes at all, 
and I must say that from knowledge that comes to me in the way 
of business, as to foreign competition, and from the reports from the 
Colonies, I am not disposed to think that it would be for the best 
interests of the English people for a law to be passed to this eSeSL 
I have no objedion to a gradual reduction of the hours of labour. 
I believe it will come, but I do not think it will come by an AA 
of Parliament, such as for the miners' trades was presented the 
other week to the House of Commons. I mentioned the hours on 
the Continent. No doubt they will gradually lessen, and I for one 
hope quickly. But there they are, and the commerce of England 
is too important for any hasty measures. 

My Father's decision not to stand again for Norwich 
remained unaltered, although strongly pressed to do so. 
When the close came to his Parliamentary life in 1895, he 
meant it, he said, ^* to be a real, and not merely a nominal 
retirement." He expressed his thanks to his Constituents 
in a Valediftory Address, dated June 27th, 1895. 

To the Eledlors of the City of Norwich. 

Gendemen, 

The Dissolution of Parliament, which has been announced 
to take place immediately, seems a suitable time for me to address 
you. 

On six different occasions, during a period which covers nearly 
twenty-five years, you have done me the honour of returning me 
as one of your Members. Though it has been known for some 
time that I should not again seek your suffrages, it is fitting that I 
should thus formally bid farewell to you as your Representative in 
Parliament. Though other duties, which I could not negledt, have 
claimed my time, and attention, I have nevertheless endeavoured to 
serve you to the best of my ability. 

I. thank my political friends and opponents alike for the personal 



346 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

kindness with which I hare always been treated^ and in. retiring 
into more private life I shall always endeavour to promote the in- 
terest of the City of which you have made me an Honorary 
Freeman. 

With renewed sentiments of gratitude and resped, 

^ ' I remain Yours ftithfuUy, 

J, J. COLB«AN. 

To my Father^ broken down as he was by my Mother's 
illness and deaths the close of his Parliamentary life brought 
a welconfie relief. There were those who felt he would 
sorely miss the life conned:ed with the House of Commons, 
but tile rdief was too great to leave room for regrets. 

There is scarcely a day, [he wrote two years later,] that I do not 
feel or express this satis&Aion. 

For life in the House of Commons is not free from 
anxiety. Deciding how to vote was not always easy, especi- 
ally when it could only take the form of a direA affirmative 
or negative, and a year was quite; long enough to lead him 
to say: 

There- are a number of questions on which we must say merelv 
" Yes *' or " No." J have thus* given many a vote whjch I felt 
under the circumstances was the right one, but which was not 
what I shovdd like to have given. 

Attendance at the House often involved a heavy addi- 
tional strain. It needed only fifteen months of it for my 
Mother to write to her husband, after being disappointed 
yet again as to the date of his return : 

What a comfort it will be to have a litde quiet home life with- 
out this incessant pendiUum-like travelling between London and 
Carrow or Cortop ! 

And ag^n : 

Certainly an M.P. had need have the patience of the Saints! 
No sooner are you off than a telegram comes to say (as I read it) 
diat yoqr presence in the House is not wanted! 



RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 347 

My Father was not one of those who often made his 
voice heard in the House of G>mmons. He thought : 

One of the great virtues of a member of that assembly is to be 
able to hold his tongue, and I am sure that giving a good and right 
vote is quite as useAil as quoting poetry to the House of Commons. 

Of the long speeches his opinion was that : 

Many of these are not wanted, as they tax both those who de- 
liver them and those to whom they are aodressed. 

With an uninterrupted experience of twenty-four years 
of Parliamentary life it may be of some interest to note 
his views on the House of Commons, its dedion, its 
changing methods, and the work it accomplished. 

He believed in making it representative of all shades of 
opinion, so the widening of tKc franchise had, as already 
shown, enlisted his sympathy from early days. He carried 
out his views by supporting I^r. Joseph Arch when he 
was chosen as Candidate for the North-west Divbion of 
Norfolk in 1885; and, on the suggestion of Mr* Samuel 
Morley, for whom my Father h^d a high regard, became, 
with him, one of the Trustees of the Fund for the EleAion 
expenses. He did so because he thought it was " important 
for the Liberal Party, and for the Agricultural Labourers, 
that a representative of their class should have a seat in the 
House" ; and that even if Mr. -^rch did " say things not 
agreeable to landowners or farmers," there was " no place 
in the world for the ventilation of his views like the House 
of Commons." f 

My Father's views on the Payment of Members, though 
he voted in the House in favour of introducing the system 
to some extent, were those expressed in a letter in 1893: 

I admit that the present systeni has a prejudicial effedt on the 
representation of the Working Glasses, and any well-considered 
scheme for remedying this grievtmce I would support. But the 
subje£t is not quite so simple as it might appear at first. It is very 
hard to draw the line between Members of Parliament and Members 



348 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

ofTown and County Councils, School Boards, etc., and I do not 
think we are at all prepared for the abolition of all voluntary public 
work. 

The difiBculty of getting good Candidates, he admitted, 
was a serious one. Once, after having been asked to in- 
terview prospedive ones, he wrote, roused by his non- 
success : 

I may parody the old saying, ^^ what is true is not new, and what 
is new is not true," by " men who are fit won't come, and men 
who would come are not fit." 

On the question of the Registration of Voters my Father 
expressed tihie opinion in 1889 that "the anomalies of the 
registration laws are quite beyond the power of common- 
sense Englishmen to understand," and that it was ** most 
unjust that a man who happened to change his residence 
for a few months should lose the right to be represented 
in the House of Commons." 

He suggested an attempt should be made to get all the 
Parliamentary EleAions on the same day, as in France and 
America. 

That, [he said,] would probably settle nine-tenths of the evils of 
dual voting. The question of One Man One Vote would, no 
doubt, be obstru£ted by many Conservatives, many of whom, how- 
ever, do not desire the lengthened turmoil of our ParHamentary 
contests. 

He noted certain changes which had crept into the 
House of Commons during his time there. One referred 
to Petitions. 

When I first went into the House, [he said in a speech in 1892 J 
every Member had to rise in his place to present a Petition. For 
a good many years past there has been a little carpet bag behind 
the Speaker s chair, and at any hour of the sitting a Member can 
go and push a Petition in. Petitions are not of the use they were 
formerly, and Mr. Gladstone, in an article he has written this 



RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 349 

month, has referred to that h&^ remarking that the agitation against 
slavery was mainly carried on and won by means of Petitions. 

He believed the alteration in the rules of Procedure, in- 
cluding the God-sent gift of shortened night sittings, 
would tend to better legislation. One of the " quiet re- 
forms " he approved of, instigated by Mr. Gladstone, was 
that of relieving the House of Commons by passing over 
some of its work to Grand or Standing Committees, where 
the Members ^^ discuss questions without a party bias.*' He 
was appointed a member of the Standing Committee on 
Trade. 

One thing which, to quote my Father's opinion, tended 
to delay useful legislation, was that : 

There has been an effort for a series of years, almost as long, 
perhaps quite as long, as I recollect the House of Commons, to 
drive too much work and too many Bills through Parliament at the 
same time. 

" Familiarity " is said to " breed contempt," and doubt- 
less this is so even in the House of Commons. Writing 
to a correspondent in 1890 my Father admitted : 

I don't at all deny that vour description of the Bill may be a 
coTTc6k one, only perhaps M.P.'s get rather callous as to the pro- 
phecies of the efie£ts of legislation. 

Where the results to be accomplished are invariably 
painted in the brightest or darkest colours, according to 
the views of the speaker, this is perhaps inevitable. He 
felt it was a mistake to think that Parliament could do 
everything, for after all, he said, " much depends on our 
own self-reliance." Still, in spite of all its defers, and the 
work and worry it often entailed^ he was proud of the 
House of Commons, and of belonging to it. Though he 
admitted the hardest things against it were often said by 
those inside it, yet he maintained : 

The House of Commons is a great and noble assembly to which 



350 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

it is an honour to belong. I do not envy the feelings of those^ if 
there are any such, who would degrade it because it does not do 
exaftly the work at the time they may wish. It is a great instru- 
ment for doing good work. 

He liked to feel that there one could rub shoulders with 
" the best men of the day, whom it is an honour and a 
privilege to know," and there meet opponents in friendly 
intercourse, :and feel, though diiFering widely from them, 
that they were " honest straightforward Citizens, ... de- 
sirous of doing their best for the good of the Country." 

In reviewing the Legislative work of the nineteenth 
century he spoke of that period as " the greatest of all the 
centuries." 

It was, [he continued,] ushered in with gloom — ^the gloom of 
a great war — and when that gloom disappeared not much could 
be done in the way of legislation, as the Tories were for a con- 
siderable time in power. But during the second quarter of the 
century there came a great change — the Reform Bill was passed, a 
great stride was made in the cause of civil and religious liberty by 
the abolition of all religious disabilities, and the Corn Laws were 
removed. The third quarter of the century witnessed further steps 
in the cause of Reform by the carrying of another Reform Bill, by 
giving to the: voter the protection of the Ballot, and by passing 
measures to promote education, even amongst the humblest of the 
people. 

He used to recall the occasion when, during an exciting 
Debate in the House of Commons, after several speakers 
had appealed to past history, one Member rose and said : 
"Mr. Speaker, we are making history to-night.** My 
Father liked 'to feel he had some share, however small, in 
the history cbnnedled with those great movements. In the 
early days of his Parliamentary life he gave his hearers the 
old Liberal watchwords — "Civil and Religious Liberty, 
Peace, Retrenchment and Reform." These, coupled with 
" less disposi^on to interfere in foreign aflfairs," he felt had 
been the work of the Liberal rather than of tJie Conserva- 
tive Party. In a speech in 1885 he said: 



RETIREMENT FROM PARLIAMENT 351 

It is one of the essential difierences between Tories and Liberak 
that the latter trust, and the former distriist, the people. 

He did not like to paint his opponents black as ink, but 
he was dear enough which party to support. 

I should not like to say, [he said in reference to the vears between 
1874 and 1878,] because I like to be hir in political as well as in 
other matters, that some small, useful measures were not passed by 
members of that Conservative Administration. But what I want 
you to infer is this, that on all great political questions you get more 
work from a Liberal Government than you do from a Conservative 
Government 

In 1890 he said further : 

The longer I live the more firmly I am convinced that the best 
policy for those who are dissatisfied with the course of events is not 
to abstain, but to support the Liberal Candidates, and keep the 
Liberal Party in power. 

He remained true to the end to the old Liberal watch- 
words, though towards the close of his life he was not alto- 
gether in sympathy with the more aggressive form of 
Radicalism which showed itself, and he felt that the word 
Liberty was too often obliterated from its vocabulary. 
Thus in writing to his friend Mr. S. N. Delf in 1894, he 
said: 

I cannot pretend that my sympathies with present day Liberal 
politics, promises, pledges, etc., are very keen. 

Describing himself he once said : " Nature did not make 
me a man desirous of very violent changes." So he be- 
lieved : * 

It is no use expe6ting political reforms to be carried with a rush, 
and steady progress is the proper method of making Liberalism tell 
thoroughly and efficiently upon the legislation of the Coimtry. 

Thus rashness, either in aft or speech, of which he 



352 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

thought there was a great deal too much about that time, 
repelled him. 

There seem to be some people in the Country, [he complained 
in 1 892 J who think it their duty to say the rashest things if they 
can get a little applause at the moment. 

Four years later he put his views of the Liberalism of 
the day in a letter : 

I cannot say that I endorse the last paragraph in your letter, 
in which you express the wish that I were back in the House of 
Commons at the present time. I take, myself, a very despairing 
view of political prospers; and according to my judgment a 
great many of the Liberal Party have simply brought about the 
disastrous position in which we find ourselves. If my Liberalism 
and Nonconformity had not been ingrained in me years ago, I 
should be disposed to despair even more than I do now. 

This chapter may not unfidy be closed with my Father's 
own words in his speech at St Andrew's Hall in 1892, 
when returning thanks for the Presentation he received 
after twenty-one years of service in Parliament : 

There is a saying of an old Divine, ^^ In doing what we ought 
to do we deserve no praise, because we are simply doing our duty.'* 
That has been my feeling during the years which I have represented 
this City in Parliament. I have tried to do my duty; and I have 
felt it was my duty to do what I could to represent the Liberal 
Party of this City. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 

NO one could be in my Father's position, as a large 
Employer of Labour and a Representative in the 
House of Commons of long standing, without coming into 
close touch with, and forming opinions on, many of the 
social problems which beset our modern civilisation. 

The following rough notes, written for a speech in con- 
nexion with the West London Mission, which at that time 
had the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes at its head, will show 
that he believed in a very praftical side of religion to cope 
with these difficulties. He did not believe in Christian 
people's turning aU their attention to " the penitent form," 
tod forgetting how "the broken window" in the home 
could be mended. After describing the work of the Mission 
as '^ A Mission of Social Kindness as well as a Christian 
Mission," his notes continued : 

Report suggests many thoughts on social, economic, and perhaps 
I should add political questions. 

A man goes to your penitent form and becomes converted, but 
his windows remain broken and his home unpainted. 

Better Housing. 

More pra£Ucal Education, and other things. 

All centering round the religious wwi and services here. 

In combining all these agencies you have done much to increase 
the usefulness of each of them. You will help cowards the solution 
of grave problems which beset modern life and large populations. . . . 

It need hardly be said that those people who spend much 
time at Religious Services and Prayer Meetings, but leave 
politics " to the world," held views very different from my 

A A 



354 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Father's. He used to quote one of his early deftioneering 
experiences, when, looking over a canvassing book, he 
noted the comments against the names of two Voters : 

No. i,ooi. Thinks it wicked to vote — Leaves politics to the 
world. 

No. 1,099. Same as 1,001, but not quite such a fool: had 
better be seen ags^in. 

He was very praftical. If he theorized about things he 
liked to put his theories into shape ; and to talk platitudes 
about religion and use no common sense in endeavouring 
to put things right, in a world so far removed from perfec- 
tion as this, was a position with which he had no sympathy. 
. Therefore movements which had for their objedl the 
bettering of the condition of the Working Classes had a 
friend in him, more especially those based on the stable 
foundation of enabling people to help themselves, instead of 
trusting to precarious charity, with all the deterioration of 
self respeft and charader which that may involve. . 

Among such movements he reckoned Friendly Societies, 
and others which helped to make .thrift easy. He was a 
Trustee of the Norwich Savings Bank. He looked upon 
'^ this question of national thrift as one of national import- 
ance.'* He thought the management of these Societies was 
an admirable training, and he welcomed the spirit of in- 
dependence which they fostered in their members. My 
Father came to feel more and more the importance of each 
Society's being " in a condition of striA solvency," and 
latterly was specially particular that no Society should make 
use of his name, or receive a contribution from him, un- 
less he was convinced that its financial condition was sound. 
He welcomed the attempts made to extend the benefits of 
these Societies to Women, " always provided," he added, 
*^ that the .condition of strid financial soundness be ob- 
served, and that the basis be broad enough to include all 
women, irrespeAive of their religion or political creeds" 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 355 

The Poor Law my Father thought far from satisfadory; 
He said in 1892 he had long felt that it was ^^one of the 
difficulties ahead of us/' and in 1893 he was quite prepared 
to support a Motion in the House of Commons for a Royal 
Commission to inquire into its administration. The pre- 
vious year he referred in a speech to the question^ and to 
the proposals in reference to Old Age Pensions from the 
State— which proposals he noticed " have been generally 
made not by cardiess but by thoughtful people." After 
mentioning a recent article in which the writer proposed 
that everyone on reaching the a£;e of 65 should be entitled 
to 5 J. a week, my Father added, 'H am not going to say 
ofF-hand that I should vote for tliat proposal to*morrow, 
but I think that the question of Old Age Pensions is one 
which demands our earnest consideration," though he ad* 
mitted ^^ of course it is a cosdy system/' 

Depend upon it, [he went on,] our Poor Law System requires a 
great change. 1 am not prepared to commit myseif to the precise 
details of what the change should be. But when I see a large 
number of people who are compelled as it were to go into the 
Workhouse on reaching a certain age, and when I see in country 
districts, i^ one in particular, a troop of little children in Work- 
house garb walking in a sort of solemn drill, I strongly feel that it 
is a matter requiring very earnest attention. I know that this has 
been called Communisti9, Socialistic, and that sort of thing, but I 
say deliberately that it is one of the problems which will have to 
be looked at and faced, in order that it may be seen whether any 
better system could be devised. The present system is 6^ from 
satisfactory. Some system needs to be devised by which thrift 
would be encouraged, and I believe that upon it some schen^e of 
State Pensions might be grafted in order to make this country 
happier and better. 

One pra6Hcal scheme for helping the Working Classes 
in which my Father had great faith was that of enabling 
them to have Allotments. As far back as 1857 he had en- 
deavoured to do something in the direction of encoiu^ng 
gardening, and in later years he or his Firm tried to do 



356 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

more to develop the system of allotments, " for," he was, 
to quote his own words, " fully convinced of their value, 
and the need of a wider extension of the benefit they bring." 
Bee-keeping too he thought ought to be encouraged 
amongst G>ttagers. 

In a speech delivered in 1 892, while he said he did *^ not 
wish to be harsh, or say anything hard of owners of land in 
Norfolk," who he knew " have had their difficulties in past 
years," yet he thought " a large number of them have 
lamentably failed in their duty, in not voluntarily providing 
allotments, and caf6s or reading rooms for people living in 
the country to resort to. I am quite sure there are in- 
dividuals amongst them, and even combinations of in- 
dividuals, who, if they had risen to their duty, could have 
provided some places in which the qien could meet after a 
day's work, other than the public-houses which are scattered 
all about the country." 

He had much more faith in bettering the condition of 
the Working Classes by sympathetic efforts of this kind, 
than by legislative ena&ments which merely forbade this, 
that, or the other. 

The Laws relating to Land he felt needed considerable 
alteration, so that some scheme should be devised by which 
land, a limited commodity as it is, " instead of being ac- 
cumulated into enormous estates," should be ^^ spread 
by means of easy conveyances amongst a larger number of 
people." In his EleAion Address in 1885 my Father said: 

On the question of the land, I think some measures are desirable 
beyond the promotion of Cheap Transfer and Abolition of the 
Laws of Primogenitiu'e and Entail. I agree with the principles of 
the Bills for the Extension of Allotments and for the Enfranchise- 
ment of Copyholds and Leaseholds, and while I am not in favour 
of any revolutionary enadtments, I think that in the direflions in- 
dicated by these Bills, legislation may do much to facilitate the ac- 
quisition of Real Estate by a much larger proportion of the popu- 
lation than now enjoy it. 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 357 

When the Social Science Congress met in Norwich in 
1873 he was asked to read a Paper, which he did. The 
subjeA, Taxation, was one in which he was considerably in- 
terested at that time. In 1871 when it had been proposed 
to raise the Income Tax to cope with the increased army 
expenditure, my Father, in a letter drawn up to Mr. 
Gladstone, embodied the following suggestion, designed 
to meet the case of those who had small incomes, to whom 
this might come as a special hardship. 

As a new Member of the House of Commons I do not wish to 
intrude a speech on such an important night as Monday will be, but 
will you allow me to make a suggestion to you which may meet to 
some extent the difficulty of the case? 

Two points will probably be urged against the proposed addition 
to the Income Tax, first, that it will give a larger surplus than is 
really needed, and second, its severe pressure on holders of small 
fixed incomes. 

I suggest whether these obicSions could not be met by an advance 
of id, on incomes of a small amount, and 2d. on the larger ones. 
I have not at hand any table showing the amount raised on the re- 
spective rates of Income, so as to know what would best suit the 
sum you require, but if Incomes under ^^300 or ^^400 per anniun 
coula be subjed Xo id, increase, and all above to 2d. it would meet 
many cases of hardship. 

That he believed in lessening the burden of taxation for 
those with smaller means may also be judged. from his not 
being in favour of abolishing the carriage tax altogether, 
^' because it seems to me to insure to some extent the pay- 
ment of the cost of keeping up the roads by those who 
can afford to pay, and who use them." 

When the request came to read a paper at the Social 
Science Meeting he did not like to refuse. 

I have resolved to say ^ yes," [he wrote in a letter to a firiend, 
dated August 29th, 1873,] ^^^ 1 ^^^ make my paper short, and 
shall be very glad of any hints or stu£f you can get together for 
me, but there is no time to lose, as I want to get all into shape a 



358 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

few days b^9re ist Oftobcr. I shall go in more for ** local taxation" 
than the theory of local government. 

The paper was read on Odober 3rd. Writing on Odo- 
ber 27th he said of it: 

I was compelled to prepare it hastily, and in the midst of a good 
deal of interruption, and am conscious it is open to a good deal of 
criticism. 

And in 1884 he said further: 

Probably some of the views would be modified now, but at all 
events they expressed the views generally entertained here at the 
time. 

If my Father's conclusions on the subjeft did not agree 
with those of some of his friends, it was not that he did 
not see the difficulty of the question, nor the force of the 
opposing arguments. He readily admitted that *' the diffi- 
culties attending not only the setdement of a question of 
this magnitude and intricacy, but even the right appre- 
hension of its principal bearings, are exceedingly great." 
His paper, which was illustrated by carefully drawn up 
statistics, dealt mainly with town populations. Admitting 
that much of the wealth centred there, his position was as 
follows: 

But when the question comes. How do you get at this wealth 
for local taxes?, the reply must be that every test of ability is ig- 
nored except the single one of rental, and it is my objedt to show 
that this is a Bdlacious one. 

' . . . it is an unquestioned bJBi that the income from personalty, 
entirely untouched for local purposes, is greatly in excess of that 
from real property. . . . 

The struggling tradesman, to whom large business premises may 
be a necessity, has to pay heavily; while a professional man or 
capitalist, whose offices or business occupation may be compara- 
tively small,^ pays a proportionately small amoimt, although he earns 
a larger income ; and a man who has realised a fortune, which is 
invested in .personal estate, escapes with a fra&ional payment, be- 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 359 

cause his requirements are limited to a private residence. Thisy 
surety, cannot be just. 

In another place he laid down the two principles dealt 
with in the paper, round which the details centred. 

One is that it is unjust to raise for the benefit of all on the pro- 
perty of a few, and the other that local self-government must not 
be over-ridden by central authority, or that if central authority does 
interfere it must bear some portion of the burden for national 
purpose. 

Norwich was smarting at that time over a heavy expen- 
diture in connexion with the Asylum. Many thought this 
unreasonable, or maintained, at any rate, that if the ex- 
penditure was forced on the City by a central authority, it 
was only fzir some of the help should come from a central 
source to assist the local rates. My Father, touching on 
the question in a speech in 1873, ^^^* 

I am not for losing self government; I want to retain it But 
in Norwich we are required to give up self government, and to find 
the money for an Asylum. The right principle is, that where there 
is Grovemment interference there should be also Government assist- 
ance. I am not prepared to say that some amount of Government 
interference is not a good thing. It keeps towns up to the mark. 

In a letter written many years later to his son-in-law, 
James Stuart, he recounted the feelings which prompted 
him to take the views expressed in his raper. 

January 17th, 1894. 
Dear James, 

My political work has not been much of a literary sort, and 
I daresay you have been quite ignorant of the hSt that I ever read 
and printed a Paper bearing on political questions. But the Radical 
^dress to Sir Wm. Harcourt, and the discussion which I saw 
yesterday in the London Coimty Council on the taxation of Land 
Values has brought the subjedt to my mind, and I send you a copy 
of a Paper I read at the Social Science Congress when their 
Meeting was held here just over twenty years ago. 



36o JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I want 70U just to look through it, and to remember that there 
may be another side to the taxation question besides that which 
some of the London Radicals have taken up. 

Bear in mind that this paper was written a long time since, and 
circumstances have, I know, altered somewhat between now and 
then. But the contention then was that Real Property, 1./., land 
and houses, was bearing an undue share of the local taxation of the 
Country. I was indo£trinated in this view by Tillett and others in 
Norwich, who were amongst the stoutest members of the Liberal 
Party, and I am bound to say that I still think that this contention, 
as expressed at that time, was just. 

Tillett used to put the thing in conversation in this' way. — ^Whcn 
taxation for various local purposes originally began, there was prac- 
tically nothing on which taxes could be levied except real property. 
Since then personal property has grown enormously in the form of 
Stocks and Shares, and it escapes Local Taxation^ and the view 
Tillett pressed very strongly was that in some form or another 
personal prope|fty should be brought in to bear its fiiir share of 
taxation. 

Against this view a good many staimch Liberals used to say, on 
the other hand, that although Real Estate had to bear local burdens, 
it was exempt from some other charges — and notably Probate Duty. 

During the last twenty years the situation may have altered 
somewhat, and I mean to have a thorough look into this point, to 
see how far taxation on our estates here has increased or decreased. 
Grants in aid have been made from the Consolidated Fund towards 
Police, etc., expenses, and the same Fund has contributed to Edu- 
cation expenses — ^which of course means that Personal Propertf 
has, in so far, contributed some share to local taxation — but on the 
other hand I think it should be remembered as to the Education 
contribution from the Fund, it has rather gone to assist the parents 
and perhaps the cause of Education than to the money relief of the 
local taxpayer. 

The Radical Manifesto assumes that this relief to local rates is 
an improper one. I am not prepared to admit this. Whether it is 
a very economical one is another question, but I don't believe it to 
be unjust that the owner of real property should have some relief, 
by getting some assistance from the taxation of the personalty 
holder, and at present the Grants in Aid seem to be the only way 
in which this can be done. 

I am just sending you this as a sort of preliminary canter. One 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 361 

of these days I may very likely have some figures showing in more 
detail how the matter really works out. For the present I only 
want you to feel that there is something to be said on the other side. 

Bv the way, one further point as to the Death Duties. The 
M.r.s who address Sir W. Harcourt want the Government to take 
heavier dues when properties change hands, and to increase the 
rate of duty according to the amount of the Estate. I don't discuss 
this main position at the moment; I quite admit there is a good 
deal to be said for it, but there is one point I think should not be 
lost sight of. Suppose a man dies leaving an estate of ^^ 100,000 in 
Personal Property, 1./., Stocks, Shares, Pi£lures or other valuables, 
the State requires a certain percentage of the property, and the 
man who succeeds to it can of course easily realise a su£Scient 
portion of it to pay the duty. But supposing the Estate in question 
to be Realty instead of Personalty, should the suf:cessor to it be 
called upon to pay cash down fdr the Duty, or should the Death 
Duty be spread over a certain number of years as Succession Duty 
is at present ? It seems to me that the latter is the fairer plan, as 
otherwise the Successor would have either to sell off a portion, or 
mortgage the Estate, and I don't think this woidd be likely to be 
for the advantage of the State or the individual. The present 
method of levying the Succession Duty seems to me fiiirer for Real 
property than the suggestion that a lump sum should be payable, as 
on Personalty, when an Estate changes hands at death. 

Since di£lating the above, I have had a chat with two of my 
constituents. One of them points out this — that if he is a share- 
holder in a Railway Company he does contribute to local rates, 
and therefore to that extent what I have said as to the income from 
shares getting off scot free from these burdens must be modified. 
At the same time if his money were in the Funds or in Foreign 
Government Bonds, I pointed out to him, that he is then receiving 
his income clear of all local charges, and making me as an owner 
of house property pay for educating the population — ^which I do 
not consider an equitable arrangement. 

The other constituent says he often used to talk to Mr. Tillett 
on the subjed. Tillett would say: Why should a shopkeeper in 
Norwich Market Place have to pay heavily for local rates — say often 
j^ioo per annum, — whilst a man living just outside the city, and 
receiving an equal income from Consols pays practically nothing i 
The reply to Mr. Tillett used to be, " The shopkeeper does not 
pay the rates, ultimately, he gets them out of his customer." But 



362 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

on the principle that rates -have a tendency to stick where they are 
first levied, I am inclined to think, with Mr. Tillett, that the slioi>- 
keeper is unfairly burdened. 

Yours fiiithfiilly 

J. J. COLBCAN. 

My Father at least had the courage of his convictions, 
and spoke in the House of Commons and voted against 
the Government in support of a Motion by Sir Massey 
Lopes in 1872: 

That it is expedient to remedy the injustice of imposing taxation 
for national obje^ on one description of property only, and tbere^ 
fore that no legislation with reference to local taxation will be sads- 
fa£tory which does not provide, either in whole or in part, for the 
relief of occupiers and owners in counties and boroughs from charges 
imposed on ratepayers for the lulministration of justice, police and 
lunatics, the expenditure for such purposes being almost entirely 
independent of local control. 

He voted with the Conservatives, as did other Liberals, 
not *^ because I liked the companv I was in," but ^' as a 
matter of duty," and this mainly for the sake of people in 
towns, feeling that " the grievances of . . . the landed 

Eroprietors were nothing like so great as those of the in- 
abitants of towns." In a letter on the subjeft the same 
year he wrote: 

Speaking for myself and those liberal politicians with whom I 
ad I may say I shall be glad to see the Government take a line 
which will rairly distinguish between the fat land owners, whose 
property ever tends to increase in value, and the owner and occupier 
of house and cottage property which tends to decrease in value, but I 
feel some concession must be made when, as Mr. Gladstone would 
say, ^^ the growing wants of our modern civilization " tend to in- 
crease our taxes so heavily. 

His feeling that the increase in town rates was serious, 
and not properly adjusted, he expressed in notes for a speech : 

Population is centering more and more in our large towns and 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 363 

this necessarily causes heavier charges of a permanent kind foraged 
PooTi Lunatics, Police or Education. You may get a very large 
population together without a corresponding increase in r«d pro- 
perty . . . and who is to pay for all this ? Simply the rates levied on 
the rental of their homes, the fiiAories in which they work, or the 
shops at which they deal, whilst the wealth they are producing 
from their labour goes elsewhere to the funds, or some other in* 
vestment, and contributes little or nothing in return. . . . I am not 
here to ask this question to be decided on expediincy hut justiciy and 
I say it is not just any longer to continue to levy the increasing 
amount of local rates on the rental of real property alone. 

The year 1893 was made memorable by the Coal Strike 
in England, a strike of large dimensions, afFeAing in its 
ramifications a very wide area. My Father, though his sym- 
pathies went to a considerable extent with the Colliers, quite 
enough to give them financial help, yet did so with the 
feeling that perhaps, after all, the strike was a mistake, and 
that taking thei working-class population as a whole the 
money help only prolonged for them a situation of wide- 
spread distress. The contempt, too, which it was fashion- 
able in some quarters to pour on certain Laws of Political 
Economy, he thought was a mistake, feeling that they could 
not with safety be ignored. To his son-in-law, James 
Stuart, he wrote on Oftober 3rd, 1893: 

L the Strike so popular among the working classes generally . • . ? 
I rather doubt it, and have been suggesting this question: when the 
working classes see that if it is to succeed, it will entail a rise of a 
few shillings per ton in the price of coal for consumption in their 
cottages this winter as compared with last winter, will there not 
be a readion ? Further, there is this point : Are there not a large 
number of working men suffering already through the indire£t effe£t 
of the strike? Is it not probable that tney quietly deprecate it? I 
refer to instances in which fadtories have had to shut down, engine 
drivers and railway employees to go on short time, etc., during 
these last few weeks. The Railway Shareholders too will suffer, but 
of coiu^ that does not afFe£t to any extent the working classes. 

After referring to having given some help to the strikers 
" in a quiet way," he mentions a letter from the acquaint- 



364 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

ance who had disbursed the money, asking if he might 
have further help to assist, not colliers, but the employees 
of a Faftory closed on account of the Colliers' strike. On 
this my Father commented: 

I very much doubt whether these employees sympathize with 
the strikers, and of course for every case of this kind one hears of^ 
there must be many others one does not hear of. 

He also embodied his opinions in letters to a friend, a 
month later, quoted at considerable length here for those 
who are interested in following his views on the subjeA. 
Under the date of November 3rd, 1893, he wrote: 

The Coal Strike has been bad enoueh in its misery all round, 
and I am not concerned to defend the Masters in all that they have 
done, or to blame the Men and their leaders for all they have done. 
There have been faults on both sides. But I want to look at the 
matter from an outsider's point of view. We are told by certain 
philanthropic writers and speakers that political economy is not 
to be a rule in matters of this kind, and that whatever the faults on 
either side may be, our duty is to render help to those who are 
suflering — specially the women and children — just as the Red Cross 
Society renders help to the wounded in time of war. • . . 

Now let me just say as a preliminary I am rather illogical, for I 
have sent help in various quarters, though I must confess with an 
underlying doubt as to whether it would be useful in the long run, 
and anonymously, as I did not wish to seem to take sides. There- 
fore don't think I am writing this simply from dry logic or political 
economy. ... 

The philanthropists are trying that coal shall be dearer than it 
has been — that is, dearer than the natural law of supply and demand. 
Well, what is the efteA of this? To make every householder pay 
something more for his coal, to make everv manufacturer be at an 
extra charge for what he manufactures. It is not to be the question 
whether the manufacturer can afford the profit as against foreign 
manufacturers, but the coal is to be as dear as possible. And why 
is it to be raised in this artificial way? Because there are now 
140,000 men more employed in the coal trade than there were six 
years ago, who must get their living wages out of it.^ . • . 

^ The number of men employed in or about coal mines in the BritisJi 
Islands was 522,094 in 1887, as against 678,283 in 1893. 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 365 

There is one other point which I have not seen alluded to in the 
controversy, but which has a very pradical bearing on the matter. 
That is the economy which there is now in the use of coal com- 
pared with a few years ago. I daresay you may have seen the term 
^* triple expansion engine." What that means is just this, that by 
means of improvement in the steam engine the same work can be 
done with a much smaller consumption of fuel, and as a matter of 
fa£t, is done. It is in consequence of this improvement that the 
price of wheat has been so much reduced of late years. The cost 
of transport under the old sailing vessels and steamships as they 
were 10 or 15 years ago was vastly more than now. This same 
principle applies to engines on our railways and for manuiadhiring 
purposes, and as to this we have had a very striking instance in 
our own factory. Within the past 3 or 4 years we turned out some 
old steam engines and put in new ones at a cost of j^3,ooo or 
;^ 4,000 in order to economise fuel, and are using less to do the 
same amount of work than we were a few years ago. A philan- 
thropist may say at the first blush, ^^ Then you should pay so much 
more for your coal." A little refle£tion will show that there is a 
fallacy in this. To illustrate my meaning I will say that a Firm of 
Engineers came to us some years aeo and said, *^ If you will let us 
alter your engines we can save fuel. True it will cost you several 
thousand pounds, but you will be repaid this in the long run." If 
we had not been going to reap the advantage in the saving of fuel 
we should not have given the order to the Engineer. He sets his 
brains to work to invent, he employs men to build, and having 
paid him we are repaying ourselves by saving in fuel. It is hard 
no doubt on the coal miner who had been getting our coals, but 
it is for the good of the State and the Country in the long run that 
fuel should be economised. This is going on in every dire£lion. 
Very possibly you yourself may have had a slow combustion stove 
put in. The n£t is fuel is being economised. In other words, less 
is required to do the same amount of work, and in the face of this 
fa£t a larger number of men have crowded to the coal-fields than 
full work can be found for. 

To my mind all resolves itself into a question ultimately of Free 
Trade or Proteftion. If you arc to protcft or regulate the Miner's 
wage, what about the Agriculturalist? If Free Trade is wrong let 
uis say so, but if Free Trade is for the good of the vast mass of the 
people it must be adhefed to, even if a certain number of individuals 
isufier. 



366 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Then comes the further question, what about giving relief? To 
take up the question of the injured in battle. They are helped 
because of their misery, and through no lault of theirs they are 
wounded and suffering. A similar remark applies no doubt to many 
of the sufferers by the Coal Strike, but is there not this difference ? 
In helping the wounded in time of war you are not helping to 
continue the war. I believe it is a sort of understood canon of 
civilized war that those who are taken prisoners, if released, do not 
enter upon that particular war again. Similarly the wounded prac- 
tically never take part again. But in this question of help in the 
mining crisis I believe the money given does help to continue a 
pitiable struggle. As I said before I can't profess to be logical and 
I have given help myself, but when I see the nature of the appeals 
which are made in some quarters, it makes me feel that the heart 
has got the better of the head, and, in matters like this terrible coal 
strike, depend upon it, the head has something to do as well as the 
heart. ... 

I am thankful never to have had any serious difficulty with my 
own Workmen, and hope always to avoid it. But if I do this and 
keep my business so that it may be the means of giving continued 
employment to a considerable quantity of men and not become a 
loss to myself and Partners, I am' quite sure I shall have to remem- 
ber there are laws governing trade and rules of political economy 
which cannot be ignored. 

In reply to two more letters from the same fnend, who 
had hastened to assure my Father that their views were 
not so far apart as he seemed to think, the latter wrote 
another long letter on November i8th, in continuation of 
the same subjed, though he hoped soon they might meet 
personally, and have a friendly talk on the subjeA. 

... I think I might ask that the term *^ living wage " shauU be 
clearly defined. If you are to use terms about which one man 
means one thing and another man means another, where are we 
when we come to discussion ? In other words, is not a definition 
of what is meant an essential and necessary feature i Let me take 
the quotation which you give — " the husbandman that laboureth 
must be the first to partake of the fruits.'* I am not going to dis- 
pute whether thiat be right or wrong as you seem to understand it, 



VIEWS ON. SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 367 

biit let tne put the following casesr' which airewithth my own per^- 
sonal knowledge. 

» 

He proceeded to give details of these. The first was of a 
Farmer, well known to him, who through no feult of his 
own, but " through the fall of prices and adverse seasons," 
was quite unable " to pay his own way and the same aifiount 
of wages which he could when seasons were better and 
prices were higher." The second was a similar case, that 
of a Tenant Farmer. Both must have had their af&irs 
wound up had it not been for the assistance of friends. 
Were they to employ the same number of men at a lower 
wage, or must they say to some of them, " I have no work 
for you, because I must pay to those who do work for me 
the same wages as before ? " The third case was that of a 
farm belonging to certain Charities of which my Father was 
a Trustee. The price of produce became so low that the 
farmer was unable to carry it on, and the Trustees could 
get no rent at all, but rather than let the land get thoroughly 
out of order, they were carrying it on themselves till times 
improved. 

Are we, [my Father asked, and this was his special point,] as 
Trustees representing the Poor who are to benefit by this property, 
to hand it over to a certain number of labourers, and guarantee 
them what they may wish to call " a living wage " ? 

Now all these 3 cases are within my own knowledge, and the 
reason of all those difficulties is the low price of agricultural produce, 
which, as I said in my former letter, is the result of buying in the 
cheapest market, and I am not disputing that that is for the good 
of the State. . . ^ 

I should really like to know how such cases can be met and dealt 
with. ... 

Nov, 19: I had written so far last night, and now have received 
your letter this morning and L just add a few lines. As to whether 
your definition of a " living wage ** be sufficiently explicit I won't 
now discuss, but let me put the following points. 

If you are going to say every Collier must have a ^^ living 
Wage, wh^t a^ut the Shoemaker, ahd stillmore the Agrteultund 



368 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Labourer? Is it possible that the latter will be content that the 
Collier is patted on the back and he left out? Then how are you 
to help him if the plan is still adopted of buying food in the 
cheapest market ? . • . 

I told you something about the consumption of coal in our 
Works. For us as Manufacturers an extra price is not of much 
importance. Coal bears a small percentage of our outlay. But I 
maide enquiry as to the efFed of a coal strike on bakers, and I am 
told that the advance which they have had to pay recently affeds 
a man who bakes about 20 sacks a week to the extent of /i 
a week. Now that man has had so much less money to pay to the 
butcher, the grocer, and the draper. I have also heard in another 
trade of a factory, the proprietor of which is conneded with iron 
work proprietors, and he told a friend of mine that he has not at 
the present time one bit of English iron in his fadtory — in other 
words he has had to go abroad and purchase it there. The more 
I think it over tiie more it seems to me to resolve itself into either 
Free Trade with low prices or Proteftion with high prices. To me 
as a Manuiadurer I am not sure that Prote£tion would not be the 
most profitable, but the Consumer and Working Classes generally 
have undoubtedly benefited by Free Trade. • . . 

There are economic laws which are as inexorable as natural laws. 
A good many men in time past have tried to alter them or fight 
against them. They have failed and have had to retire baffled and 
to a certain extent discredited. You know the old phrase about 
sowing the wind suid reaping the whirlwind, which in other words 
means that if you start a wrong principle even in a small scale you 
may on a large scale have disastrous results, and this is what I fear 
you may be doing. A coal owner told me only this week that the 
strike has been adding about one third of the produ£tion — in other 
words speaking roughly, 400,000 coal Workmen have been doing 
well, 200,000 or a little over are on strike or locked out, whichever 
term you choose to employ. Bad enough I know in all seriousness. 
But think of the vastly larger number of working men who in their 
own homes, or in the fadories where they arc employed as Work- 
men, must be affeded. Are you to san^ion a doubtful principle 
for 200,000 Colliers as against the millions in the United Kingdom? 

I won't add any more to bother you, but if you do think of 
turning up on Tuesday wire me sometime to-morrow, or write. 

When my Father was once asked his opinion as to a Trades 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 369 

Union among Clerks, he replied that, though he thought 
there were ^^ special difficulties in the way of a Union among 
them because of the immense diversity of occupations and 
circumstances covered by the word * Clerk,' " yet he con- 
sidered that " Clerks have, of course, a perfeft right to seek 
by combination to better their condition." As far as his 
own Works were concerned, with reference to Union or 
Non-Union Men, it was, he wrote in 1 891, his "desire 
and intention that they should both be treated impartially." 
But he felt that the diara^r of the work done, and the 
personal charader of a Workman, were important faAors, 
which a Trades Union, legislating for a hu*ge number of 
members en masse^ was not always quite ready to acknow- 
ledge. 

My Father, as already stated, had most ^th in a con- 
ciliatory spirit as a preventive of labour troubles, a spirit 
which, it is needless to say, if it is to be of use, must be ex- 
hibited by Employers as well as Employed. 

There are some social questions which specially afFeft 
Women. Prominent amongst them is that of Women's Suf- 
frage. My Father's first instind, when the question came 
before him in the House of Commons in 1871, was to 
abstain from voting, through not knowing which side to 
champion. Later he recordfed votes against it, but there is 
no doubt time reconciled him considerably to the proposed 
reform, even if it did not quite convert him. Those who 
knew his cautious disposition will understand it is very 
easy to read more than he intended into his remark written 
in 1 892 to the Hon. Secretary of the Women's Liberal As- 
sociation in Norwich: 

If I say that as time goes on I feel less obje^on to it than I did, 
you must not take this to mean more than it says. 

Anyhow he was distindly in favour of women's taking 
their part in public life. He thought they " ought to know 
something about politics as well as men," and thoroughly 

B B 



370 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

approved of their being on such bodies as Boards of Guar- 
dians and School Boards. He gave them their full measure 
of praise for the work accomplished by them on the public 
platform. He told a meeting of a Women's Liberal Asso- . 
ciation that he thought women's speeches often had less 
claptrap about them than many of the men's. He added: 

I am afraid that this is really literally true, and I am not talking 
of small political meetings, but of great political gatherings. The 
speeches which have been delivered by women at their difiertnt 
meetings have, in my Judgment, rcacned a higher average than a 
good many of the men s speeches. 

When only a youth of i8, he seems to have held auite 
advanced opinions, for the time, on the " sagacity * of 
women. In his Journal, alluding to the account of the 
creation of Eve (Gen. ii, 21-5), he stated: 

This passage I consider gives us a full license to consider that 
both sexes are equal in the sight of God ; there is no difference in 
sagacity or instindl between the sexes in beasts, and why should 
there be in the human species i 

Of movements specially affefting women which came 
before the House of Commons, it may be mentioned that 
my Father was, as he wrote in 1 8 80, entirely in favour of the 
removal of the Property Disabilities of Women ; and the 
movement on behalf of Moral Reform, associated with 
the names of Mrs. Josephine Butler and Sir James Stans- 
feld, and with which his son-in-law, James Stuart, was 
closely connefted, found a firm and consistent supporter in 
him. 

He also approved of the appointment of women as 
Inspedors under the Faftory Ad, believing that where 
women and girls were employed it was obviously sound 
and right to have a woman to safeguard their interests. 

Whatever divergence of opinion there might be on social 
and political questions, my Father believed in giving people 
ample, opportunity for ventilating their views. As rar back 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 371 

as 1866 he gave some support to a Labour newspaper, not 
that he wished to be considered as ^* approving everything 
the promoters of the paper wish to attain," but " because 
I think working men should have some help and sympathy 
in their efforts to make their feelings well and widely 
known," and because, ^^ as Mr. Mill said the other night, 
we all hold some erroneous opinions," and he hoped by 
means of this newspaper Employers and Employed might 
the better understand each other and correft erroneous 
ideas. 

He took ft good deal of interest in Journalism, and cir- 
cumstances brought him into close touch with it. One of 
those papers in which he was specially interested was a local 
one, the " Norfolk News," started in 1 845. In a letter to 
my Father, written soon after Mr. Tillett's death in 1892, 
Mr. Jonathan D. G^peman referred to having been present 
^* when Tillett first suggested the idea of a new Liberal 
paper for Norfolk," and said that until a few weeks earlier 
he, his brother (Mr. John G>peman) and Mr. Tillett had 
been the "sole survivors of those who were afterwards 
called into council." My Father became one of the Direc- 
tors of the paper, and was largely instrumental in getting 
the " Eastern Daily Press " started, a daily paper issued by 
the same Company in 1 8 70. He felt that newspapers played 
an important part in modern life, and that " the public is 
very much indebted to journalists, whether they occupy 
the Editorial Chair, or wnethcr they are engaged in report- 
ing public proceedings, for the way in which our public life 
goes on." 

It interested him to compare the present days with the 
past, and to look back at some of the oldest Norfolk news- 
papers, and learn in them the changed conditions of life since 
early in the eighteenth century. When the Institute of 
Journalists met in the Eastern Counties in 1894 he alluded 
in his speech to a paper in those far-back days which apolo- 
gized for having in one issue more than half its contents 



370 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

approved of their being on such bodies as Boards of Guar- 
dians and School Boards. He gave them their full measure 
of praise for the work accomplished by them on the public 
platform. He told a meeting of a Women's Liberal Asso- . 
ciadon that he thought women's speeches often had less 
claptrap about them than many of the men's. He added: 

I am afiaid that this is really literally true, and I am not tallcing 
of small political meetings, but of great political gatherings. The 
speeches which have been delivered by women at their diffisrent 
meetings have, in my judgment, reached a higher average than a 
good many of the men s speeches. 

When only a youth of 1 8, he seems to have held Quite 
advanced opinions, for the time, on the " sagacity ' of 
women. In his Journal, alluding to the account of the 
creation of Eve (Gen. ii, 21-5), he stated: 

This passage I consider gives us a full license to consider that 
both sexes are equal in the sight of God ; there is no difference in 
sagacity or instindl between the sexes in beasts, and why should 
there be in the himian species? 

Of movements specially affedling women which came 
before the House or Commons, it may be mentioned that 
my Father was, as he wrote in 1 8 80, entirely in favour of the 
removal of the Property Disabilities of Women ; and the 
movement on behalf of Moral Reform, associated with 
the names of Mrs. Josephine Butler and Sir James Stans- 
fdd, and with which his son-in-law, James Stuart, was 
closely conneded, found a firm and consistent supporter in 
him. 

He also approved of the appointment of women as 
InspeAors under the Fadory Aft, believing that where 
women and girls were employed it was obviously sound 
and right to have a woman to safeguard their interests. 

Whatever divergence of opinion there might be on social 
and political questions, my Father believed in giving people 
ample. opportunity for ventilating their views. As rar back 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 371 

as 1866 he gave some support to a Labour newspaper, not 
that he wished to be considered as ^^ approving everything 
the promoters of the paper wish to attain," but ^^ because 
I think working men should have some help and sympathy 
in their efforts to make their feelings well and widely 
known/' and because, '^ as Mr. Mill said the other night, 
we all hold some erroneous opinions," and he hoped by 
means of this newspaper Employers and Employed might 
the better understand each other and correft erroneous 
ideas. 

He took ^ good deal of interest in Journalism, and cir- 
cumstances brought him into dose touch with it. One of 
those papers in which he was specially interested was a local 
one, the " Norfolk News," started in 1 845. In a letter to 
my Father, written soon after Mr. Tillett's death in 1892, 
Mr. Jonathan D. G>peman referred to having been present 
** when Tillett first suggested the idea of a new Liberal 
paper for Norfolk," and said that until a few weeks earlier 
he, his brother (Mr. John G^peman) and Mr. Tillett had 
been the ^^sole survivors of those who were afterwards 
called into council." My Father became one of the Direc- 
tors of the paper, and was largely instrumental in getting 
the ^^ Eastern Daily Press " started, a daily paper issued by 
the same G>mpany in 1 8 70. He felt that newspapers played 
an important part in modern life, and that ^' the public is 
very much indebted to journalists, whether they occupy 
the Editorial Chair, or whether they are engaged in report- 
ing public proceedings, for the way in which our public life 
goes on." 

It interested him to compare the present days with the 
past, and to look back at some of the oldest Norfolk news- 
papers, and learn in them the changed conditions of life since 
early in the eighteenth century. When the Institute of 
Journalists met in the Eastern Counties in 1894 he alluded 
in his speech to a paper in those far-back days which apolo- 
gized for having m one issue more than half its contents 



372 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

composed of the speech of a certain Reverend gendeman, 
the explanation being that there was no manner of foreign 
news that week, as the winds prevented the arrival of mails; 
and my Father amused the Members by quoting one 
strangdy candid Journalist who wrote: 

The Dissolution is suddenly expeded, but I shall forbear fixing 
the very day, having been already once or twice deceived. 

He admitted he was ^^a litde bit old-fashioned in his 
journalistic views/* and that he thought there was ^^ rather 
too much go-aheadism in relation to newspaper work," 
and he feared there was ^^a disposition, fostered perhaps by 
readers as well as writers, to get a litde ahead of informa- 
tion/* He felt *^ there are questions about which public 
men require time before they can make up their minds,'* 
and he sometimes thought he could do this better ^^ if it 
were not for the long leading articles setting forth veiy 
positively what was to be done." He gave as his opinion, 
in another speech before the same G>nference, that he had 
^^ seen something of the struggles of journalism,** but he 
had ^* never believed in papers which require to be per- 
manendy subsidized by political parties, * but held that 
^^ independence on the part of journals and journalists is 
the only soimd basis to go upon.** 






CHAPTER XXIV 

PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 
1873— 1893 : AGED 43—63 . 

IT was only natural in an we of Conferences that it not 
infrequently fell to my Father's lot, in common with 
many other Norwich Citizens, to do something on these 
occasions to keep up the reputation for hospitality which 
Norwich is said to possess. 

The Social Science Congress held its Meeting in the City 
in the autumn of 1873. Among my Fathers guests at 
Carrow House on that occasion were two native gentlemen 
from India, Mr. C. Meenaeshaya and Mr. C. Sabapathiah, 
introduced to him by Miss Mary Carpenter. My Father 
said of them eighteen years later : 

They deeply impressed upon my mind at the time that it was a 
great anomaly for men of their stamp, ability, and integrity to have 
no voice in tlieir country's affiurs. 

In 1883 he entertained Mr. Lalmohun Ghose when he 
came to speak at a Meeting in support of Lord Ripon's 
policy of giving greater freedom to our Indian fellow sub- 
jeds. In a speech on that occasion he said : 

I know that some of our friends — some very staunch and hearty 
friends to Liberal principles in general — differ very much on Lord 
Ripon's policy in this particular matter. A very good friend of the 
Liberal Parnr in Norwich told me only the other day that England 
had gained India by the sword, and must hold India by the sword. 
It may be quite true that we did gain India by the sword, but if I 
am not mistaken it was by the sword that our forefathers in the 
last century attempted to hold America. That policy did not suc- 
ceed. I think it would be better, very much, that we should hold 

373 



374 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 



Indiar— that great possession of England's — ^through afiedion, and 
at all events by a regard of the Indians for us, rather than through 
fear of the sword. England's tenure in India would then be much 
more real and lasting and satisfadorjr than anything that might be 
expeded to result from the fear of the sword. 

Thus, though as my Father told Sir W. Weddcrburn in 
1 89 1, he could, not ^^ promise to join the ranks of those 
members of Parliament who undertake to initiate Indian 
Questions and Debates," yet he was glad to give sts much 
consideration as he could to ^^ Indian Parliamentary busi- 
ness, with the view of obtaining for it j ust and sympathetic 
treatment in the House of G>mmons." He sympathized 
with the efibrts made for the suppression of the Opium 
Traffic, believing that ^* our national policy in this matter 
needs to be radically changed." 

His interest in India was of long standing. In 1858 he 
was on a Committee, and helped to colled funds, for es- 
tablishing scholarships ^^for Christian Young Men in- 
tended tor the Indian Civil Service, or as Missionaries,'* 
in memory of Sir Henry Havdock, K.C.B. In a speech 
delivered at that time, just after India had passed through 
the crisis of the Mutiny, he quoted the saying of a Bishop 
that what India wanted was ^'more Bishops," to which 
"Punch" replied, in allusion "to the brave and noble 
Havelock," that what it wanted was " not more Bishops, 
but more Baptists." My Father went on to say that for his 
part he thought they wanted " more of all denominations, 
but especially of such men as William Carey, " who— op- 
posed by all the powers that could stand in his way — carried 
the Gospel of Christ to the heathen, and was, by the bless- 
ing of, God, the instrument of great and lasting; good." 
One conne&ion he had with India was his mendship 
with the Rev. James Smith, of the Baptist Missionary 
Society, who spent many years in that country, and finally 
returned there to die, because he could not be happy away 
from the land where his missionary work had been done. 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 375 

He used to keep my Father posted up in Indian affiiirs 
firom time to time, and visited him when in England. His 
enthusiasm for gardening;, and his gifts of shrubs from 
the East, made the link between him and my Father and 
Mother still closer. 

The Social Science Congress was quickly foUowed by 
the Meeting of the British Medical Association in 1874. 
Other gatherings in Norwich included the Norfolk and 
Norwich Archaeological Society in 1881, the Roval Agri- 
cultural Society, and the Congregational Union of^Engknd 
and Wales, both in 1886, the British Dainr Farmers* 
Association in 1888, the Incorporated Law Society and the 
Primidve Methodist Connexion Conference in 1892, the 
Trades Union Congress in 1 894, and the celebration of the 
eight hundredth anniversary of tiie Founding; of the Cathe- 
dnd in Norwich in 1 896. This last coincided with the visit 
of some American Congr^tionalists, some of them direA 
descendants of those who had crossed the Atlantic in the 
*• Mayflower," who wished to visit the places in England 
from which their forefathers had gone forth. 

Each of these ^therings, with their divergent aims and 
objefts, gave my Father the opportunity of receiving some 
or all of the Members at Carrow. 

The Festivities in connexion with the Agricultural Show, 
which was held the same year as the Colonial Exhibition 
in London, included the reception of some of the Indian 
and Colonial Commissioners conneded with it, who came 
down to Norwich to visit the Show. The members of the 
London Police Force, too, who were on night duty in the 
showyard, were not forgotten by my Father, who arranged 
for thenfi to have an outing to Corton, while the rest of the 
Police were entertained by him at the Drill Hall. The 
Show was held at Crown Point, on land belonging to the 
Firm of J. & J. Colman. At a preliminary Meeting to 
make arrangements, my Father said that his Firm was 
"very much interested, both in Norfolk and elsewhere, in 



\ 



368 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Labourer? Is it possible that the latter will be content that the 
Collier is patted on the back and he left out? Then how are you 
to help him if the plan is still adopted of buying food in the 
cheap^ market ? • . . 

I told you something about the consumption of coal in our 
Works. For us as Manufadurers an extra price is not of much 
importance. Coal bears a small percentage of our outlay. But I 
made enquiry as to the effc& of a coal strike on bakers, and I am 
told that the advance which they have had to pay recently afFe£ls 
a man who bakes about 20 sacks a week to the extent of /i 
a week. Now that man has had so much less money to pay to the 
butcher, the grocer, and the draper. I have also heard in another 
trade of a factory, the proprietor of which is connected with iron 
work proprietors, and he told a friend of mine that he has not at 
the present time one bit of English iron in his factory — in other 
words he has had to go abroad and purchase it there. The more 
I think it over the more it seems to me to resolve itself into either 
Free Trade with low prices or Protediion with high prices. To me 
as a Manuiadurer I am not sure that Prote£tion would not be the 
most profitable, but the Consumer and Working Classes generally 
have undoubtedly benefited by Free Trade. . • . 

There are economic laws which are as inexorable as natural laws. 
A good many men in time past have tried to alter them or fight 
against them. They have failed and have had to retire baffled and 
to a certain extent discredited. You know the old phrase about 
sowing the wind suid reaping the whirlwind, which in other words 
means that if you start a wrong principle even in a small scale you 
may on a large scale have disastrous results, and this is what I fear 
you may be doin^. A coal owner told me only this week that the 
strike has been afreding about one third of the produ£lion — in other 
words speaking roughly, 400,000 coal Workmen have been doing 
well, 200,000 or a little over are on strike or locked out, whichever 
term you choose to employ. Bad enough I know in all seriousness. 
But thinkof the vastly larger number of working men who in their 
own homes, or in the fadories where they are employed as Work- 
men, must be a£Feded. Are you to san^ion a doubtful principle 
for 200,000 Colliers as against the millions in the United Kingdom i 

I won't add any more to bother you, but if you do think of 
turning up on Tuesday wire me sometime to-morrow, or write. 

When my Father was once asked his opinion as to a Trades 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 369 

Union among Clerks, he replied that, though he thought 
there were ^' special difficulties in the way of a Union among 
them because of the immense diversity of occupations and 
circumstances covered by the word * Clerk,' " yet he con- 
sidered that " Clerks have, of course, a perfed right to seek 
by combination to better their condition." As far as his 
own Works were concerned, with reference to Union or 
Non-Union Men, it was, he wrote in 1 891, his "desire 
and intention that they should both be treated impartially." 
But he felt that the charaAer of the work done, and the 
personal charafter of a Workman, were important fadors, 
which a Trades Union, legislating for a large number of 
members en massiy was not always quite ready to acknow- 
ledge. 

My Father, as already stated, had most £iith in a con- 
ciliatory spirit as a preventive of labour troubles, a spirit 
which, it is needless to say, if it is to be of use, must be ex- 
hibited by Employers as well as Employed. 

There are some social questions which specially afieft 
Women. Prominent amongst them is that of Women's Suf- 
fice. My Father's first instinA, when the question came 
before him in the House of Commons in 1871, was to 
abstain from voting, through not knowing which side to 
champion. Later he recorcfed votes against it, but there is 
no doubt time reconciled him considerably to the proposed 
reform, even if it did not quite convert him. Those who 
knew his cautious disposition will understand it is very 
easy to read more than he intended into his remark written 
in 1 892 to the Hon. Secretary of the Women's Liberal As- 
sociation in Norwich: 

If I say that as time goes on I feel less objedion to it than I did, 
you must not take this to mean more than it says. 

Anyhow he was distinftly in fevour of women's taking 
their part in public life. He thought they " ought to know 
something about politics as well as men," and thoroughly 

B B 



368 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Labourer? Is it possible tbat the btter will be content that the 
Collier is patted on the back and he left out? Then how are 70U 
to help him if the plan is still adopted of buying food in the 
cheap^ market ? . • • 

I told you something about the consumption of coal in our 
Works. For us as Manufadturers an extra price is not of much 
importance. Coal bears a small percentage of our outlay. But I 
made enquiry as to the cfft& of a coal strike on bakers, and I am 
told that the advance which they have had to pay recently afFedls 
a man who bakes about 20 sacks a week to the extent of £1 
a week. Now that man has had so much less money to pay to the 
butcher, the grocer, and the draper. I have also heard in another 
trade of a factory, the proprietor of which is conneAed with iron 
work proprietors, and he told a friend of mine that he has not at 
the present time one bit of English iron in his fa6lory — in other 
words he has had to go abroad and purchase it there. The more 
I think it over the more it seems to me to resolve itself into either 
Free Trade with low prices or Protection with high prices. To me 
as a Manuiadxu'er I am not sure that Protedion would not be the 
most profitable, but the Consumer and Working Classes generally 
have undoubtedly benefited by Free Trade. . • . 

There are economic laws which are as inexorable as natural laws. 
A good many men in time past have tried to alter them or fight 
against them. They have failed and have had to retire baffled and 
to a certain extent discredited. You know the old phrase about 
sowing the wind s^d reaping the whirlwind, which in other words 
means that if you start a wrong principle even in a small scale you 
may on a large scale have disastrous results, and this is what I fear 
you may be doing. A coal owner told me only this week that the 
strike has been afreding about one third of the produ6lion — in other 
words speaking roughly, 400,000 coal Workmen have been doing 
well, 200,000 or a little over are on strike or locked out, whichever 
term you choose to employ. Bad enough I know in all seriousness. 
But think of the vastly larger number of working men who in their 
own homes, or in the fadories where they are employed as Work- 
men, must be aflFeded. Are you to sandion a doubtful principle 
for 200,000 Colliers as against the millions in the United Kingdom? 

I won't add any more to bother you, but if you do think of 
turning up on Tuesday wire me sometime to-morrow, or write. 

When my Father waa once asked his opinion as to si Trades 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 369 

Union among Clerks, he replied that, though he thought 
there were ^^ special difficulties in the way of a Union among 
them because of the immense diversity of occupations and 
circumstances covered by the word * Clerk,* " yet he con- 
sidered that ^^ Clerks have, of course, a perfed right to seek 
by combination to better their condition/' As far as his 
own Works were concerned, with reference to Union or 
Non-Union Men, it was, he wrote in 1 891, his "desire 
and intention that they should both be treated impartially." 
But he felt that the charaAer of the work done, and the 
personal charafter of a Workman, were important fadors, 
which a Trades Union, legislating for a large number of 
members en massCy was not always quite ready to acknow- 
ledge. 

My Father, as already stated, had most &ith in a con- 
ciliatory spirit as a preventive of labour troubles, a spirit 
which, it is needless to say, if it is to be of use, must be ex- 
hibited by Employers as well as Employed. 

There are some social questions which specially affisA 
Women. Prominent amongst them is that of Women's Suf- 
frage. My Father's first instind, when the question came 
berore him in the House of Commons in 1871, was to 
abstain from voting, through not knowing which side to 
champion. Later he recorded votes against it, but there is 
no doubt time reconciled him considerably to the proposed 
reform, even if it did not quite convert him. Those who 
knew his cautious disposition will understand it is very 
easy to read more than he intended into his remark written 
in 1 892 to the Hon. Secretary of the Women's Liberal As- 
sociation in Norwich: 

If I say that as time goes on I feel less objedion to it than I did, 
you must not take this to mean more than it says. 

Anyhow he was distin(5tly in £ivour of women's taking 
their part in public life. He thought they ^^ ought to know 
something about politics as well as men," and thoroughly 

B B 



370 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

approved of their being on such bodies as Boards of Guar- 
dians and School Boards. He gave them their full measure 
of pnuse for the work accomplished by them on the public 
platform. He told a meeting of a Women's Liberal Asso- . 
ciation that he thought women's speeches often had less 
claptrap about them than many of the men's. He added: 

I am afraid that this is really literally true, and I am not talking 
of small political meetings, but of great political gatherings. The 
speeches which have been delivered by women at their dilBRsrent 
meetings have, in my Judgment, reached a higher average than a 
good many of the men s speeches. 

When only a youth of 1 8, he seems to have held quite 
advanced opinions, for the time, on the " sagacity ' erf 
women. In his Journal, alluding to the account of the 
creation of Eve (Gen. ii, 21-5), he stated: 

This passage I consider gives us a full license to consider that 
both sexes are equal in the sight of God ; there is no difierence in 
sagacity or insdnft between the sexes in beasts, and why should 
there be in the human species? 

Of movements specially affeAing women which came 
before the House or Commons, it may be mentioned that 
my Father was, as he wrote in 1 8 80, entirely in favour of the 
removal of the Property Disabilities of Women ; and the 
movement on behalf of Moral Reform, associated with 
the names of Mrs. Josephine Butler and Sir James Stan»- 
fdd, and with which his son-in-law, James Stuart, was 
closely connefted, found a firm and consistent supporter in 
him. 

He also approved of the appointment of women as 
InspeAors under the Fadory AA, believing that where 
women and rirls were employed it was obvioixsly sound 
and right to have a woman to safeguard their interests. 

Whatever divergence of opinion there might be on social 
and political questions, my Father believed in giving people 
ample opportunity for ventilating their views. As far back 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 371 

as 1866 he gave some support to a Labour newspaper, not 
that he wished to be considered as ^^ approving everything 
the promoters of the paper wish to attain," but ^' because 
I think working men should have some help and sympathy 
in their efforts to make their feelings well and widely 
known/' and because, ^^ as Mr. Mill said the other night, 
we all hold some erroneous opinions," and he hoped by 
means of this newspaper Employers and Employed might 
the better understand each other and correft erroneous 
ideas. 

He took ^ good deal of interest in Journalism, and cir- 
cumstances brought him into close touch with it. One of 
those papers in which he was specially interested was a local 
one, the " Norfolk News," started in 1 845. In a letter to 
my Father, written soon after Mr. Tillett's death in 1892, 
Nlr. Jonathan D. Copeman referred to having been present 
^* when Tillett first suggested the idea of a new Liberal 
paper for Norfolk," and said that until a few weeks earlier 
he, his brother (Mr. John Copeman) and Mr. Tillett had 
been the "sole survivors of those who were afterwards 
called into council." My Father became one of the Direc- 
tors of the paper, and was largely instrumental in getting 
the " Eastern Daily Press " started, a daily paper issued by 
the same G>mpany in 1 8 70. He felt that newspapers played 
an important part in modern life, and that " the public is 
very much indebted to journalists, whether they occupy 
the Editorial Chair, or whether they are engaged in report- 
ing public proceedings, for the way in which our public life 
goes on." 

It interested him to compare the present days with the 
past, and to look back at some of the oldest Norfolk news- 
papers, and learn in them the changed conditions of life since 
early in the eighteenth century. When the Institute of 
Journalists met in the Eastern Counties in 1894 he alluded 
in his speech to a paper in those far-back days which apolo- 
gized for having m one issue more than half its contents 



368 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Labourer? Is it possible tbat the latter will be content that the 
Collier is patted on the back and he left out? Then how are yoa 
to help him if the plan is still adopted of buying food in the 
cheapest market? • • . 

I told you something about the consumption of coal in our 
Works. For us as Manufa&urers an extra price is not of much 
importance. Coal bears a small percentage of our outlay. But I 
made enquiry as to the effed of a coal strike on bakers, and I am 
told that the advance which they have had to pay recently afieds 
a man who bakes about 20 sacks a week to the extent of /i 
a week. Now that man has had so much less money to pay to the 
butcher, the grocer, and the draper. I have also heard in another 
trade of a fa£tory, the proprietor of which is connedled with iron 
work proprietors, and he told a friend of mine that he has not at 
the present time one bit of English iron in his factory — in other 
words he has had to go abroad and purchase it there. The more 
I think it over the more it seems to me to resolve itself into either 
Free Trade with low prices or Protection with high prices. To me 
as a Manu&diu-er I am not sure that Protection would not be the 
most profitable, but the Consumer and Working Classes generally 
have undoubtedly benefited by Free Trade. . . . 

There are economic laws which are as inexorable as natural laws. 
A good many men in time past have tried to alter them or fight 
against them. They have &iled and have had to retire baffled and 
to a certain extent discredited. You know the old phrase about 
sowing the wind suid reaping the whirlwind, which in other words 
means that if you start a wrong principle even in a small scale 70U 
may on a large scale have disastrous results, and this is what I ftear 
you may be doing. A coal owner told me only this week that the 
strike has been aroding about one third of the production — in other 
words speaking roughly, 400,000 coal Workmen have been doing 
well, 200,000 or a little over are on strike or locked out, whichever 
term you choose to employ. Bad enough I know in all seriousnesi 
But thinkof the vastly larger number of working men who in their 
own homes, or in the factories where they are employed as Work- 
men, must be affeCted. Are you to sanCiion a doubtful principle 
for 200,000 Colliers as against the millions in the United Kingdom! 

I won't add any more to bother you, but if you do think d 
turning up on Tuesday wire me sometime to-morrow, or write. 

When my Father was once asked his opinion as to a Trades 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 369 

Union among Clerks, he replied that, though he thought 
there were ^^ special difficulties in the way of a Union among 
them because of the immense diversity of occupations and 
circumstances covered by the word * Clerk,' " yet he con- 
sidered that " Clerks have, of course, a perfeft right to seek 
by combination to better their condition.** As far as his 
own Works were concerned, with reference to Union or 
Non-Union Men, it was, he wrote in 1 891, his "desire 
and intention that they should both be treated impartially." 
But he felt that the diarad^r of the work done, and the 
personal charaAer of a Workman, were important fadors, 
which a Trades Union, legislating for a large number of 
members en masse^ was not always quite ready to acknow- 
ledge. 

My Father, as already stated, had most faith in a con- 
ciliatory spirit as a preventive of labour troubles, a spirit 
which, it is needless to say, if it is to be of use, must be ex- 
hibited by Employers as well as Employed. 

There are some social questions which specially afFeA 
Women. Prominent amongst them is that of Women's Suf- 
frage. My Father's first instinft, when the question came 
before him in the House of Commons in 1871, was to 
abstain from voting, through not knowing which side to 
champion. Later he recorded votes against it, but there is 
no doubt time reconciled him considerably to the proposed 
reform, even if it did not quite convert him. Those who 
knew his cautious disposition will understand it is very 
easy to read more than he intended into his remark written 
in 1 892 to the Hon. Secretary of the Women's Liberal As- 
sociation in Norwich: 

If I say that as time goes on I feel less objedion to it than I did, 
you must not take this to mean more than it says. 

Anyhow he was distindly in favour of women's taking 
their part in public life. He thought they " ought to know 
somediing about politics as well as men," and thoroughly 

B B 



370 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

approved of their being on such bodies as Boards of Guar- 
dians and School Boards. He gave them their flill measure 
of praise for the work accomphshed hj them on the public 
platform. He told a meeting of a Women's Liberal Asso- . 
ciation that he thought women's speeches often had less 
claptrap about them than many of the men's. He added: 

I am afraid that this is really literally true, and I am not talking 
of small political meetings, but of great political gatherings. The 
speeches which have been delivered by women at their diffisrent 
meetings have, in my Judgment, reached a higher average than a 
good many of the men s speeches. 

When only a youth of i8, he seems to have held aiutc 
advanced opinions, for the time, on the " sagacity ' of 
women. In his Journal, alluding to the account of the 
creation of Eve (Gen. ii, 21-5), he stated: 

This passage I consider gives us a full license to consider that 
both sexes are equal in the sight of God ; there is no diilerence 10 
sagacity or instindl between the sexes in beasts, and why should 
there be in the human species? 

Of movements specially afFeding women which came 
before the House or Commons, it may be mentioned that 
my Father was, as he wrote in 1 880, entirely in favour of the 
removal of the Property Disabilities of Women ; and the 
movement on behalf of Moral Reform, associated with 
the names of Mrs. Josephine Butler and Sir James Stans- 
feld, and with which his son-in-law, James Stuart, was 
closely conne&ed^ found a firm and consistent supports in 
him. 

He also approved of the appointment of women as 
Inspedors under the Fadory Ad, believing that where 
women and girls were employed it was obviously sound 
and right to have a woman to safeguard their interests. 

Whatever divergence of opinion there might be on social 
and political questions, my Father believed in giving people 
ample opportunity for ventilating their views. As rar back 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 371 

as 1866 he gave some support to a Labour newspaper, not 
that he wished to be consiaered as ^^ approving everything 
the promoters of the paper wish to attain," but " because 
I think working men should have some help and sympathy 
in their efforts to make their feelings well and widely 
known/' and because, ^^ as Mr. Mill said the other night, 
we all hold some erroneous opinions," and he hoped by 
means of this newspaper Employers and Employed might 
the better understand each other and corred erroneous 
ideas. 

He took 9, good deal of interest in Journalism, and cir- 
cumstances brought him into close touch with it One of 
those papers in which he was specially interested was a local 
one, the " Norfolk News," started in 1845. In a letter to 
my Father, written soon after Mr. Tillett's death in 1892, 
Mr. Jonathan D. Copeman referred to having been present 
^^ when Tillett first suggested the idea of a new Liberal 
paper for Norfolk," and said that until a few weeks earlier 
he, his brother (Mr. John Copeman) and Mr. Tillett had 
been the "sole survivors of those who were afterwards 
called into council." My Father became one of the Direc- 
tors of the paper, and was largely instrumental in getting 
the " Eastern Daily Press " started, a daily paper issued by 
the same Company in 1 8 70. He felt that newspapers played 
an important part in modern life, and that " the public is 
very much indebted to journalists, whether they occupy 
the Editorial Chair, or whether they are engaged in report- 
ing public proceedings, for the way in which our public life 
goes on/' 

It interested him to compare the present days with the 
past, and to look back at some of the oldest Norfolk news- 
papers, and learn in them the changed conditions of life since 
early in the eighteenth century. When the Institute of 
Journalists met in the Eastern Counties in 1894 he alluded 
in his speech to a paper in those far-back days which apolo- 
gized for having m one issue more than half its contents 



37a JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

composed of the speech of a certain Reverend gentleman, 
the explanation being that there was no manner of foreign 
news that week, as the winds prevented the arrival of mails; 
and my Father amused the Members by quoting one 
strangely candid Journalist who wrote: 

The Dissolution is suddenly expeded, but I shall forbear fixing 
the very day, having been already once or twice deceived. 

He admitted he was ^* a little bit old-fashioned in his 
journalistic views,'* and that he thought there was '^ rather 
too much go-aheadism in relation to newspaper work,'* 
and he feared there was ^^a disposition, fostered perh^s by 
readers as well as writers, to get a little ahead of informa- 
tion/' He felt *' there are questions about which public 
men require time before they can make up their minds," 
and he sometimes thought he could do this better *^ if it 
were not for the long leading articles setting forth very 
positively what was to be done." He gave as his opinion, 
in another speech before the same G>nierence, that he had 
^^ seen something of the struggles of journalism," but he 
had " never believed in papers which require to be per- 
manently subsidized by political parties, ' but held that 
'^ independence on the part of journals and journalists is 
the only sound basis to go upon." 



CHAPTER XXIV 

PUBLIC BVBNTS IN NORWICH 
1 873—1 893 : AGBD 43—63 . 

IT was only natural in an age of Conferences that it not 
infrequently fell to my ]^ther*8 lot, in common with 
many other Norwich Citizens, to do something on these 
occasions to keep up the reputation for hospitality which 
Norwich is said to possess. 

The Social Science Congress held its Meeting in the City 
in the autumn of 1873. Among my Fathers guests at 
Carrow House on that occasion were two native gentlemen 
from India, Mr. C. Meenaeshaya and Mr. C. Sabapathiah, 
introduced to him by Miss Mary Carpenter. My Father 
said of them eighteen years later : 

They deeply impressed upon my mind at the time that it was a 
great anomaly for men of their stamp, ability, and integrity to have 
no voice in tneir country's affiurs. 

In 1883 he entertained Mr. Lalmohun Ghose when he 
came to speak at a Meeting in support of Lord Ripon's 
policy of giving greater fre^om to our Indian fellow sub- 
jeds. In a speech on that occasion he said : 

I know that some of our friends — some very staunch and hearty 
friends to Liberal principles in general — difier very much on Lord 
Ripon's policy in this particular matter. A very good friend of the 
Liberal Party in Norwich told me only the other day that England 
had gained India by the sword, and must hold India hy the sword. 
It may be quite true that we did gain India by the sword, but if I 
am not mistaken it was by the sword that our forefathers in the 
last century attempted to hold America. That policy did not suc- 
ceed. I think it would be better, very much, that we should hold 

373 



374 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

■ 

India — ^that great possession of England's — ^through afiedion, and 
at all events by a regard of the Indians for us, rather than through 
fear of the sword. England's tenure in India would then be much 
more real and lasting and satisfadory than anything that might be 
expeded to result from the fear of the sword* 

Thus, though as my Father told Sir W. Wedderbum in 
1 89 1, he could, not ^^ promise to join the ranks of those 
members of Parliament who undertake to initiate Indian 
Questions and Debates/' yet he was glad to give as much 
consideration as he could to ^* Indian Parliamentaiy busi- 
ness, with the view of obtaining for it just and sympathetic 
treatment in the House of G)mmons." He sympathized 
with the efforts made for the suppression of the Opium 
Traffic, believing that ^' our national policy in this matter 
needs to be radically changed.'* 

His interest in India was of long standing. In 1858 he 
was on a G>mmittee, and helped to colleA funds, for es- 
tablishing scholarships ^^for Christian Young Men in- 
tended tor the Indian Civil Service, or as Missionaries^'* 
in memory of Sir Henry Havelock, K.C.B. In a speech 
delivered at that time, just after India had passed through 
the crisis of the Mutiny, he quoted the saying of a Bishop 
that what India wanted was "more Bishops," to which 
" Punch " replied, in allusion " to the brave and noble 
Havelock," that what it wanted was " not more Bishops, 
but more Baptists." My Father went on to say that for his 
part he thought they wanted " more of aU denominations, 
but especially of such men as William Carey, " who— op- 
posed by aU the powers that could stand in his way — carried 
the Gospel of Christ to the heathen, and was, by the bless- 
ing of God, the instrument of great and lasting good." 
One connexion he had with India was his nriendship 
with the Rev. James Smith, of the Baptist Missionary 
Society, who spent many years in that country, and finally 
returned there to die, because he could not be happy away 
from the land where his missionary work had b^n done. 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 375 

He used to keep my Father posted up in Indian affiurs 
from time to time, and visited him when in England. His 
enthusiasm for gardening, and his gifts of shrubs from 
the East, made the link between him and my Father and 
Mother still closer. 

The Social Science Congress was quickly followed by 
the Meeting of the British Medical Association in 1874. 
Other fi[2therings in Norwich included the Norfolk and 
Norwich Archaeoloe;ical Society in 1881, the Rojal Agri- 
cultural Society, and the Congr^tional Union of England 
and Wales, both in 1886, the British Dairy Farmers' 
Association in 1888, the Incorporated Law Society and the 
Primitive Methodist Connexion Conference in 1892, the 
Trades Union Congress in 1 894, and the celebration of the 
eight hundredth anniversary of die Founding of the Cathe- 
dral in Norwich in 1 896. This last coincided with the visit 
of some American Congregationalists, some of them dired 
descendants of those who had crossed the Adantic in the 
^^ Mayflower,*' who wished to visit the places in England 
from which their forefathers had gone forth. 

Each of these ^therings, with their divergent aims and 
objeds, gave my Father the opportunity of receiving some 
or all of the Members at Carrow. 

The Festivities in connexion with the Agricultural Show, 
which was held the same year as the Colonial Exhibition 
in London, included the reception of some of the Indian 
and Colonial Commissioners conneded with it, who came 
down to Norwich to visit the Show, The members of the 
London Police Force, too, who were on night duty in the 
showyard, were not forgotten by my Father, who arranged 
for them to have an outing to Corton, while the rest of the 
Police were entertained by him at the Drill Hall. The 
Show was held at Crown Point, on land belonging to the 
Firm of J. & J. Colman. At a preliminary Meeting to 
make arrangements, my Father said that his Firm was 
" very much interested, both in Norfolk and elsewhere, in 



376 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Agriculture," and that he might say ^^ it would be a scandal 
if my Firm selfishly shut up its grounds on such an im- 
portant occasion as the visit of the Royal Agricultural 
Society," 

The Prince of Wales, as he then was, being President 
of the Show, wished to inspedi the grounds privately before 
coming in his official capacity. This necessitated a private 
visit to GuTOW House ror luncheon, where my Father had 
also received him on a previous occasion at the opening of 
the annual Fat Catde Show in 1880. 

My Father always took a keen interest in Agriculture. 
This was partly, no doubt, because his business brought 
him into close touch with it, as so much of the raw mate- 
rials used by him consisted of products of the field, and he 
learnt how to sympathize with the farmers in their diffi- 
culties. He was naturally observant, and never took a drive 
in the country without closely noticing the kind of land 
and the crops which he passed. With the view mainly of 
improving the local breads of catde, he went in for this 
branch ofAgriculture, and his herd of Red Polls, together 
with his flock of Southdown sheep, became well known in 
•the agricultural world. Champion Honours both at Smith- 
field and the various local Shows came his way, yet he was 
ready to confess that to him ^^ one fat beast was very much 
like another," and the pradical management was left in 
other hands. 

When the Trades Union Congress settled to come to 
Norwich, my Father wrote to one of its officials : 

No doubt some of your members will go much further and faster 
dian I can in the direction of social politics, but that should not 
prevent our meeting in friendly fashion. 

The friendship that can brook no difference of opinion 
was not his. In one of his speeches he expressed the strong 
hope that ^^ if we fight about politics we shall still maintain 
our private friendships." Yet he held his opinions strongly* 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 377 

Thus, when he was asked to be a Vice-President of the 
Church Congress when it met in Norwich in 1895, he de- 
clined on the ground that : 

Whilst there mzj be much in which I should agree, I feel there 
must be manjr things said, and resolutions passed, from which I 
should dissent, and I feel therefore that I ought not to occupy such 
a position. 

But he added in his letter he would be very glad to show 
interest in the Congress in other ways, and offer hospitality 
to some of the guests. 

Occasionally Societies were entertained at Corton. Thus 
in 1879 Members of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists* 
Society, and in the same year some Members of the British 
Archaeological Association (which was holding Meetings at 
Yarmouth; were received there bv my Father and Mother, 
And in 1 891, when the East Anglian Branch of the British 
Medical Association met at Lowestoft, they welcomed its 
Members to Corton, and had the pleasure of entertaining 
as house guests Sir James and Lady Paget, Sir George and 
Lady Humphry, and Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson. 

The' Naturalists went to Corton specially to insped the 
Forest Bed, which after a scouring tide is sometimes visible 
on the beach, and to see some fossils which had been dis- 
covered in it. My Father k^t these in another house in 
the same garden, Clyffe Cottage, which became a litde 
museum. Two of the most interesting finds were the dis- 
covery of four very fine and formidable looking elephant's 
teeth, alluded to in one of the following letters, and later 
some hyaena's teeth, found for the first time in the forest 
bed, thus upsetting some theories based on the supposed 
non-existence of that quadruped at the period when the 
forest bed was formed. My Mother gave an account of 
the visit of the Naturalists in a letter to her mother : 

At first they walked to the Museum, with the contents of which 
the geologists were much pleased, as they consist mainly of fossils, 



378 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

etc., found in the immediate neigbbourboed. Jeremiah had a bit of 
the forest bed uncovered for them to see, but the paper irhich 
Mr. Harmer was to have read on the beach ^^On the Corton 
Cliff/' was read in our drawing-room instead as the rain came on, 
. • . The paper was short, and seemed to us ignoramuses to confess 
that geologists know but little yet of the history of our globe* 

A fortnight later mjr Mother wrote in another letter: 

To-day we have had Dr. Leith Adams, a Professor of Geologyy 
here. He came to see our elephant's teeth which were dug out of 
the forest bed here. ... He says he believes these specimens to 
be tmique, and that they have not such fine ones in the British 
Museum. ... He has no doubt th^y are the four teeth of one and 
the same elephant, making the upper and lower jaw perfe^ 

Many of the fossils, after my Father's death, were given 
by my Brother to the Castle Museum in Norwich, where 
they are more accessible to those who wish to study them« 
My Father had written in 1895: 

I have long had a real interest in the Norwich Museum and the 
Free Library. 

In 1876 he had been elefted one of the Trustees of the 
former, and in 1894, when, after an existence of about 
seventy years, it was finally transferred to the Castle Build- 
ings, ana came under the management of the Town Council, 
he was one of the old Trustees eleded to serve under Ac 
new Scheme. The idea of converting the old Casde, which 
had been used as a prison, into a home for the Museum met 
with my Father's warmest approval, for the old building 
in St. Andrew's was wholly inadequate, and exposed to the 
danger of fire from its close proximity to other buildings. 
He felt that the benefits of the Museum would be spread 
fiu- more widely if the exhibits could be shown to better 
advantage, and the Castle, from its central position and 
archaeological interest, part of it dating back to Norman 
times, formed an ideal place. When the chance came of 
acquiring it for this piu'pose, the scheme was happily in- 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 379 

augurated in 1886 by the generosity of the late Mr. John 
Gurney, Mayor of Norwich that year, who offered ;^5|0C)0 
to restore the interior of the Norman Keep and convert it 
into a place for the CoUeAion. When it was decided the 
following year to enlarge the whole scheme, build additional 
galleries, and raise the extra money required as a Memorial 
of Queen Vi<9:oria*s Jubilee, my Father thoroughly ap- 
proved. The work was carried out under Mr. Edward 
Boardman, as archited, and in the autumn of 1 894 the Duke 
and Duchess of York came for the Opening Ceremony. 

In January of that year, at the last annual meeting of 
subscribers to the old Museum, my Father alluded to the 
Leftures that had been given in connexion with it some 
fifty years earlier, and expressed the hope that a similar 
scheme might be inaugurated in the new building. 

The Ledhirers I remember, [he said,] were Professor Sedgwick, 
Captain Stanley, Mr. Bath Power, and others who gave Discourses 
of great interest. 

From the time the new scheme was started he was anxious 
that a Pifture Gallery should be included in it. This has 
happily been carried out. Writing on December 20th, 1888, 
to Mr. Hennr G. Barwell, who was interesting himself in 
the same subjeft, he said: 

I am glad to think that any words of mine have had the efiedt, 
as you think, of assuring that an attempt will be made to provide 
our old City with an Art Gallery. Certainly, in view of its history, 
it ought to have one. 

The words here alluded to were in a speech at a meeting 
held when additional funds were required, and the scheme 
was stiU more or less under discussion. 

My Father was very loyal to his own City, and felt it 
only right that Norwich should possess specimens of the 
works of those Artists who have helped to make it femous. 
He gave a pifture by Joseph Stannard of a Thorpe Water 



370 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

approved of their being on such bodies as Boards of Guar- 
dians and School Boards. He save them their full measure 
of praise for the work accomplished hj them on the public 
platform. He told a meeting of a Women's Liberal Asso- . 
ciation that he thought women's speeches often had less 
claptrap about them than many of die men's. He added: 

I am afraid that this is really literally true, and I am not talking 
of small political meetings, but of great political gatherings. The 
speeches which have been delivered by women at their difierent 
meetings have, in my Judgment, reached a higher average than a 
good many of the men s speeches. 

When only a youth of 1 8, he seems to have held quite 
advanced opinions, for the time, on the "sagacity ' of 
women. In his Journal, alluding to the account of the 
creation of Eve (Gen. ii, 21-5), he stated: 

This passage I consider gives us a full license to consider that 
both sexes are equal in the sight of God ; there is no difference in 
sagacity or instindt between the sexes in beasts, and why should 
there be in the human species? 

Of movements specially aflFeAing women which came 
before the House of Commons, it may be mentioned that 
my Father was, as he wrote in 1 8 80, entirely in favour of the 
removal of the Property Disabilities of Women ; and the 
movement on behalf of Moral Reform, associated with 
the names of Mrs. Josephine Buder and Sir James Stans- 
feld, and with which his son-in-law, James Stuart, was 
closely connefted, found a firm and consistent supporter in 
him. 

He also approved of the appointment of women as 
Inspectors under the FaAory A6fc, believing that where 
women and girls were employed it was obviously sound 
and right to have a woman to safeguard their interests. 

Whatever divergence of opinion there might be on social 
and political questions, my Father believed in giving peojde 
ample opportunity for ventilating their views. As rar back 



VIEWS ON SOME SOCIAL QUESTIONS 371 

as 1866 he gave some support to a Labour newspaper, not 
that he wished to be considered as ^^ approving everything 
the promoters of the paper wish to attain/* but ^^ because 
I think working men should have some help and sympathy 
in their efforts to make their feelings well and widely 
known/' and because, ^^ as Mr. Mill said the other night, 
we all hold some erroneous opinions," and he hoped by 
means of this newspaper Employers and Employed might 
the better understand each other and corred erroneous 
ideas. 

He took ^ good deal of interest in Journalism, and cir- 
cumstances brought him into close touch with it One of 
those papers in which he was specially interested was a local 
one, the " Norfolk News," started in 1845. In a letter to 
my Father, written soon after Mr. Tillett's death in 1892, 
Mr. Jonathan D. Copeman referred to having been present 
^^ when Tillett first suggested the idea of a new Liberal 
paper for Norfolk," and said that until a few weeks earlier 
he, his brother (Mr. John Copeman) and Mr. Tillett had 
been the "sole survivors of those who were afterwards 
called into council." My Father became one of the Direc- 
tors of the paper, and was largely instrumental in getting 
the " Eastern Daily Press " started, a daily paper issued by 
the same Company in 1 8 70. He felt that newspapers played 
an important part in modern life, and that " the public is 
very much indebted to journalists, whether they occupy 
the Editorial Chair, or wnether they are engaged in report- 
ing public proceedings, for the way in which our public life 
goes on." 

It interested him to compare the present days with the 
past, and to look back at some of the oldest Norfolk news- 
papers, and learn in them the changed conditions of life since 
early in the eighteenth century. When the Institute of 
Journalists met in the Eastern Counties in 1894 he alluded 
in his speech to a paper in those far-back days which apolo- 
gized for having in one issue more than half its contents 



372 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

composed of the speech of a certain Reverend gentleman, 
the explanation being that there was no manner of foreign 
news that week, as the winds prevented the arrival of mails; 
and my Father amused the Members by quoting one 
strangely candid Journalist who wrote: 

The Dissolution is suddenly expeded, but I shall forbear fixing 
the very day, having been already once or twice deceived. 

He admitted he was ^'a little bit old-fashioned in his 
journalistic views/' and that he thought there was " rather 
too much go-aheadism in relation to newspaper work,** 
and he feared there was ^'a disposition, fostered perhaps by 
readers as well as writers, to get a little ahead of informa- 
tion.** He felt " there are questions about which public 
men require time before they can make up their minds,** 
and he sometimes thought he could do this better ^^ if it 
were not for the long leading articles setting forth very 
positively what was to be done." He gave as his opinion, 
in another speech before the same Conference, that he had 
'^ seen something of the struggles of joiu-nalism,** but he 
had " never believed in papers which require to be per- 
manendy subsidized by political parties, * but held that 
'^ independence on the part of journals and journalists is 
the only sound basis to go upon.*' 



J 

V 



CHAPTER XXIV 

PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 
1 873—1 893 : AGED 43—63 . 

IT was only natural in an age of Conferences that it not 
infrequently fell to my rather's lot, in common with 
many other Norwich Citizens, to do something on these 
occasions to keep up the reputation for hospitality which 
Norwich is said to possess. 

The Social Science Congress held its Meeting in the City 
in the autumn of 1873. Among my Fathers guests at 
Carrow House on that occasion were two native mndemen 
from India, Mr. C. Meenaeshaya and Mr. C. Sabapathiah, 
introduced to him by Miss Mary Carpenter. My Father 
said of them eighteen years later : 

They deeply impressed upon my mind at die time that it was a 
great anomalv for men of their stamp, ability, and integrity to have 
no voice in tneir country's afiairs. 

In 1883 he entertained Mr. Lalmohun Ghose when he 
came to speak at a Meeting in support of Lord Ripon*s 
policy of giving fi;reater freedom to our Indian fellow sub- 
jeds. In a speech on that occasion he said : 

I know that some of our friends — some very staunch and hearty 
friends to Liberal principles in general — difier very much on Lord 
Ripon's policy in this particular matter. A very good friend of the 
Liberal Party in Norwich told me only the other day that England 
had gained India by the sword, and must hold India by the sword. 
It may be quite true that we did gain India by the sword, but if I 
am not mistaken it was by the sword that our forefathers in the 
last century attempted to hold America. That policy did not suc- 
ceed. I think it would be better, very much, that we should hold 

373 



374 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 



India— that great possession of England's — ^through afiedion, and 
at all events by a regard of the Indians for us, rather than through 
fear of the sword. England's tenure in India would then be much 
more real and lasting and satisfadory than anything that might be 
expeded to result from the fear of the sword. 

Thus, though as my Father told Sir W. Wedderbum in 
1 89 1, he could, not "promise to join the ranks of those 
members of Parliament who undertake to initiate Indian 
Questions and Debates," yet he was glad to give as much 
consideration as he could to " Indian Parliamentary busi- 
ness, with the view of obtaining for it just and sympathetic 
treatment in the House of Commons." He sympathized 
with the efibrts made for the suppression of the Opium 
Traffic, believing that " our national policy in this matter 
needs to be radically changed." 

His interest in India was of long standing. In 1858 he 
was on a Committee, and helped to coUeft funds, for es- 
tablishing scholarships **for Christian Young Men in- 
tended tor the Indian Civil Service, or as Missionaries," 
in memory of Sir Henry Havelock, K.C.B. In a spach 
delivered at that time, just after India had passed through 
the crisis of the Mutiny, he quoted the saying of a Bishop 
that what India wanted was "more Bishops," to which 
"Punch" replied, in allusion "to the brave and noble 
Havelock," that what it wanted was " not more Bishops, 
but more Baptists." My Father went on to say that for his 
part he thought they wanted "more of all denominations, 
but especially of such men as William Carey, " who— op- 
posed by all the powers that could stand in his way — carried 
the Gospel of Christ to the heathen, and was, by the bless- 
ing of God, the instrument of great and lasting good." 
One connexion he had with India was his friendship 
with the Rev. James Smith, of the Baptist Missionary 
Society, who spent many years in that country, and finally 
returned there to die, because he could not be happy away 
from the land where his missionary work had been done. 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 375 

He used to keep my Father posted up in Indian aflairs 
from time to time, and visited him when in England. His 
enthusiasm for gardening, and his gifb of shrubs from 
the East, made the link between him and my Father and 
Mother still closer. 

The Social Science Congress was quickly followed by 
the Meeting of the British Medical Association in 1874. 
Other gatherings in Norwich included the Norfolk and 
Norwicn Archaeological Society in 1881, the Roval Agri* 
cultural Society, and the Congregational Union of England 
and Wales, both in 1886, the British Dairy Farmers' 
Association in 1888, the Incorporated Law Society and the 
Primitive Methodist Connexion Conference in 1892, the 
Trades Union Congress in 1 894, and the celebration of the 
eight hundredth anniversary of die Founding of the Cathe- 
dral in Norwich in 1 896. This last coincided with the visit 
of some American Congr^tionalists, some of them direA 
descendants of those who had crossed the Atlantic in the 
" Mayflower," who wished to visit the places in England 
from which their forefathers had gone forth. 

Each of these gatherings, with their divergent aims and 
objeAs, gave my Father me opportunity of receiving some 
or all of the Members at Carrow. 

The Festivities in connection with the Agricultural Show, 
which was held the same year as the Colonial Exhibition 
in London, included the reception of some of the Indian 
and Colonial Commissioners conneAed with it, who came 
down to Norwich to visit the Show. The members of the 
London Police Force, too, who were on night duty in the 
showyard, were not forgotten by my Father, who arranged 
for them to have an outing to Corton, while the rest of the 
Police were entertained by him at the Drill Hall. The 
Show was held at Crown Point, on land belonging to the 
Firm of J. & J. Colman. At a preliminary Meeting to 
make arrangements, my Father said that his Firm was 
**very much interested, both in Norfolk and elsewhere, in 



376 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Agriculture,'' and that he might say ^' it would be a scandal 
if my Firm selfishly shut up its grounds on such an im- 
portant occasion as the visit of the Royal Agricultural 
Society." 

The Prince of Wales, as he then was, being President 
of the Show, wished to inspeft the grounds privately before 
coming in his official capacity. This necessitated a private 
visit to Carrow House tor luncheon, where my Father had 
also received him on a previous occasion at the opening of 
the annual Fat Catde Show in 1880. 

My Father always took a keen interest in Agriculture. 
This was pardy, no doubt, because his business brought 
him into close touch with it, as so much of the raw mate- 
rials used by him consisted of produds of the field, and he 
learnt how to sympathize with the farmers in their diffi* 
culties. He was naturally observant, and never took a drive 
in the country without closely noticing the kind of land 
and the crops which he passed. With the view mainly of 
improvinjg the local breeds of catde, he went in for this 
branch of Agriculture, and his herd of Red Polls, together 
with his flock of Southdown sheep, became well known in 
•the agricultural world. Champion Honours both at Smith- 
field and the various local Shows came his way, yet he was 
ready to confess that to him ^* one fat beast was very much 
like another," and the praftical management was left in 
other hands. 

When the Trades Union Congress setded to come to 
Norwich, my Father wrote to one of its officials : 

No doubt some of your members will go much further and fiister 
than I can in the direction of social politics, but that should not 
prevent our meeting in friendly fashion. 

The friendship that can brook no difference of opinion 
was not his. In one of his speeches he expressed the strong 
hope that ^^ if we fight about politics we shall still maintain 
our private friendships." Yet he held his opinions strongly. 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 377 

Thus, when he was asked to be a Vice-President of the 
Church Congress when it met in Norwich in 1895, he de- 
clined on the ground that : 

Whilst there may be much in which I should agree, I feel there 
must be many things said, and resolutions passed, from which I 
should dissent, and I feel therefore that I ought not to occupy such 
a position. 

But he added in his letter he would be very glad to show 
interest in the Congress in other ways, and offer hospitality 
to some of the guests. 

Occasionally societies were entertained at Corton. Thus 
in 1879 Members of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists* 
Society, and in the same year some Members of the British 
Archaeological Association (which was holding Meetings at 
Yarmouth; were received there bv my Father and Mother. 
And in 1 891, when the East Anglian Branch of the British 
Medical Association met at Lowestoft, they welcomed its 
Members to Corton, and had the pleasure of entertaining 
as house guests Sir James and Lady Paget, Sir George and 
Ladv Humphry, and Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson. 

The* Naturalists went to Corton specially to inspeft the 
Forest Bed, which after a scouring tide is sometimes visible 
on the beach, and to see some fossils which had been dis- 
covered in it. My Father k^t these in another house in 
the same garden, Clyffe Cottage, which became a little 
museum. Two of the most interesting; finds were the dis- 
covery of four very fine and formidable looking elephant's 
teeth, alluded to in one of the following letters, and later 
some hyaena's teeth, found for the first time in the forest 
bed, thus upsetting some theories based on the supposed 
non-existence of that quadruped at the period when the 
forest bed was formed. My Mother gave an account of 
the visit of the Naturalists in a letter to her mother : 

At first they walked to the Museum, with the contents of which 
the geologists were much pleased, as they consist mainly of fossils. 



I 





378 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

etc., found in the immediate neighbmrbood. Jeremiah had a bit of 
the forest bed uncovered for them to see, but the paper which 
Mr. Harmer was to have read on the beach '^On the Corton 
Cliff," was read in our drawing-room instead as the rain came oiu 
. • . The paper was short, and seemed to us ignoramuses to confess 
that geologists know but little yet of the history of our globe. 

A fortnight later my Mother wrote in another letter: 

To-day we have had Dr. Leith Adams, a Professor of Geology^* 
here. He came to see our elephant's teeth which were dug out of 
the forest bed here. ... He says he believes these specimens to 
be imique, and that they have not such fine ones in the British 
Museum. ... He has no doubt th^y are the four teeth of one and 
the same elephant, making the upper and lower jaw perfed. 

Many of the fossils, after my Father's death, were given 
by my Brother to the Castle Museum in Norwich, where 
they are more accessible to those who wish to study them. 
My Father had written in 1895: 

I have long had a real interest in the Norwich Museum and the 
Free Library. 

In 1876 he had been elefted one of the Trustees of the 
former, and in 1894, when, after an existence of about 
seventy years, it was finally transferred to the Castle Build- 
ings, and came under the management of the Town Council, 
he was one of the old Trustees elefted to serve under the 
new Scheme. The idea of converting the old Casde, which 
had been used as a prison, into a home for the Museum met 
with my Father's warmest approval, for the old building 
in St. Andrew's was wholly inadequate, and exposed to the 
danger of fire firom its close proximity to other buildings. 
He felt that the benefits of the Museum would be spread 
far more widely if the exhibits could be shown to better 
advantage, and the Casde, from its central position and 
archaeological interest, part of it dating back to Norman 
times, formed an ideal place. When me chance came of 
acquiring it for this purpose, the scheme was happily in- 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 379 

augnrated in 1886 bv the generosity of the late Mr. John 
Gurney, Mayor of Norwich that year, who offered )^5,ooo 
to restore the interior of the Norman Keep and convert it 
into a place for the Colleftion. When it was decided the 
following year to enlarge the whole scheme, build additional 
galleries, and raise the extra money required as a Memorial 
of Queen Vidkoria's Jubilee, my Father thoroughly ap- 
proved. The work was carried out under Mr. Edward 
Boardman, as architedl, and in the autumn of 1 894 the Duke 
and Duchess of York came for the Opening Ceremony. 

In January of that year, at the last annual meeting of 
subscribers to the old Museum, my Father alluded to the 
Ledures that had been given in connexion with it some 
fifty years earlier, and expressed the hope that a similar 
scheme might be inaugurated in the new building. 

The Ledhirers I remember, [he said,] were Professor Sedgwick, 
Captain Sunley, Mr. Bath Power, and others who gave Discourses 
of great interest. 

From the time the new scheme was started he was anxious 
that a Pidure Gallery should be included in it. This has 
happily been carried out. Writing on December 20th, 1888, 
to Mr. Henry G. Harwell, who was interesting himself in 
the same subjeft, he said: 

I am glad to think that any words of mine have had the efie£t, 
as you think, of assuring that an attempt will be made to provide 
our old City with an Art Gallery. Certainly, in view of its history, 
it ought to have one. 

The words here alluded to were in a speech at a meeting 
held when additional funds were required, and the scheme 
was still more or less under discussion. 

My Father was very loyal to his own City, and felt it 
only right that Norwich should possess specimens of the 
works of those Artists who have helped to make it &mous. 
He gave a piAure by Joseph Stannard of a Thorpe Water 



38o JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Frolic, representing a regatta on the River Yare near Nor- 
wich, which has an additional local interest as some of the 
spedators introduced are portraits of Norwich worthies in 
bygone days. And in his Will he direded his Trustees^ 
after consvdtation with the Curator and one other gentle- 
man, to give to the Museum some of his Piftures by Nor- 
wich Artists, to the value of ^£5,000, the value of each one 
for this purpose being reckoned as the amount for which 
it was insured against fire at the time of his death. Thus 
theCity acquired an interesting and representative number 
of works by the Painters of the Norwich School, and addi- 
tional buildings have already been added to keep pace with 
the coUeftion. 

The advisability of opening Museums on Sundays my 
Father felt was a Working Man's question. Believing, 
from certain statements that were made, that the majority 
of them did not desire the change, he voted against a 
Motion to accomplish this when it came before the House 
of Commons in 1882. But he wished it to be distinfUy 
understood that he would not oppose it agsun if he saw 
evidence that the feeling among them was growing in fiivour 
of the change. When the Committee decided to open the 
Norwich Museum on Sundays he was not present to vote. 
But if one's general impressions may be trusted he would 
have supported the innovation then, more particularly as 
it was one his younger son was specially desirous of seeing 
carried into efreft. 

As my Father delighted to feel that the Norwich Castle 
was to be used for the mterest and enjoyment of its Citizens, 
so he was glad when other ancient buildings reverted, or 
came, to their possession. 

Blackfriars' Hall, the Chancel of the Church of which 
St. Andrew's Hall formed the' Nave, and which belonged 
to the City, had been leased for Religious Services in 171 3, 
for a period of 200 years, to the descendants of the Dutch 
Refugees who had earlier fled to Norfolk. When a movement 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 381 

was inaugurated in 1886 to purchase the remainder of the 
lease for the City, and repair the buildings it fell to his lot, 
as one of the subscribers, formally to ask the Corporation 
to accept the gift. In his speech on that occasion he said: 

Though I do not profess to be an antiquary or archaeologist, yet 
I yield to none of those who make those matters their study in the 
conclusion that it is a right and proper thing to restore this buildine 
to the City. That opinion I have held for a long time* When I 
was Mayor I felt that it would have been a good thing if it had 
then belonged to the City. . . . 

I will take this opportunity of saying that I hope this and all 
other old buildings, including walls and towers, will be preserved 
inta£t by the City. . . • When travelling abroad we take an interest 
in old Cfasdes, and I think that strangers who visit Norwich appre- 
ciate our ancient monuments and antiquities. They are more 
interesting to them than a monotonous row of builaings which 
could very well be taken a little further into the country. 

Those who are old enough to remember pieces of the 
ancient wall, which used to surround Norwich, being ruth- 
lessly puUed down for houses of this description, may well 
feel there was cause then, if not now, for the admonition. 

My Father liked to feel that efforts were being made to 
retain, or add to, the beauties of Norwich. In 1874 he 
wrote that his Firm had ^* great pleasure in supplying the 
Trees to the Market Committee " from Crown Point, trees 
which, planted round the Catde Market, are now proving 
a boon both to man and beast ; and he sympathized with 
the work carried on in the City by the Open Spaces Society. 

In 1893 my Father was made an Honorary Freeman of 
the City of Norwich. The resolution passed by the Cor- 
poration described him as one ^^ whose eminent public 
services to the City, unostentatious generosity, and estim- 
able private life, have endeared him to his Fellow Citizens, 
in token of which they desire to bestow upon him the 
highest honour at their disposal by admitting him to be an 
Honorary Freeman of the Ancient City." 'fiie parchment 
script conveying the Freedom was presented in a silver 



382 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

casket (afterwards bequeathed by him to his son), the cere- 
mony uking place at the Guildhall on March yth. He was 
deeply touched at the kind way in which the honour was 
conferred. Those who can recall the closing sentences d 
his speech will remember that he foimd it wellnigh impos- 
sible to control his feelings in expressing his tnanks for 
the distindion conferred upon him-^-conrerred as it was bf 
Fellow Citizens of such varying shades of opinion, yet all 
aduated by one desire. All political rancour was silenced, 
and it was from the lips of one of his strongest politial 
opponents, the leader ot the Conservative party, that there 
came the following words in reference to my Father: 

His claim to this distindioiiy or rather our claim to bestow k 
upon him, rests upon a whole life filled with kind, generous and 
loving duties performed in unobtrusive ways, and foshioned on 
the grandest of all ideals, the sacrifice of self for the good of others. 

My Mother was asked to accept a gold watch-bracelet 
from the Council, as a souvenir of the occasion, a gift which 
she deeply valued, and which no less pleased than surprised 
her. 



CHAPTER XXV 

PERSONAL AND FAMILY BVXNTS 
1873 1894: AOBD 43 64 

NO business can be carried on without anxiety, and 
at times there come special causes for it. Amon^ 
these, in my Father's case, must be reckoned both flood 
and fire. 

November, 1878, is famous in the annals of Norwich 
history for its disastrous flood. The water rose rapidly in 
many of the streets, communication could only be carried 
on by boats, and a large number of persons had to be 
rescued from their houses and sheltered in public build- 
ings. A special meeting of Citizens was summoned to 
devise means of coping with the distress. 

At Carrow we shall be considerable sufierers, [mj Mother wrote 
in a letter to her mother,] but that seems nothing compared with 
the misery of the poor people at the other end of the City. 

Her description of the flood, as it specially afiedfced Car- 
row, was embodied in a letter written on the memorable 
Sunday, November Z7th, to the same relative : 

The water has risen from the bottom of two of our warehouses. 
One is half a foot deep in water. The damage to mustard seed 
and to starch will be great. Gandy guesses it at j^S^^^o, but it is 
quite impossible to tell yet. There have been 1 50 men at work all 
night and to-day using the fire-engines, etc., to keep the water from 
rising. Our Works' Kitchen has been so useful. I have been busy 
this afternoon going about with Jeremiah to see the men at work, 
and give diredlions about the Kitchen. Mrs. Wilson has made 300 

383 



372 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

composed of the speech of a certain Reverend gentleman, 
the explanation being that there was no manner of foreign 
news that week, as the winds prevented the arrival of mails; 
and my Father amused the Members by quoting one 
strangely candid Journalist who wrote: 

The Dissolution is suddenly expeded, but I shall forbear fixing 
the very day, having been already once or twice deceived. 

He admitted he was ^^a litde bit old-fashioned in his 
journalistic views,*' and that he thought there was ^^ rather 
too much go-aheadism in relation to newspaper work,** 
and he feared there was ^^a disposition, fostered perhaps by 
readers as well as writers, to get a little ahead of informa- 
tion.'* He felt ^* there are questions about which public 
men require time before they can make up their minds,'* 
and he sometimes thought he could do this better ^^ if it 
were not for the long leading articles setting forth very 
positively what was to be done." He gave as his opinion, 
in another speech before the same Comerence, that he had 
^^ seen something of the struggles of journalism," but he 
had ^* never believed in papers which require to be per- 
manendy subsidized by political parties, ' but held that 
^^ independence on the part of journals and journalists is 
the only sound basis to go upon." 



CHAPTER XXIV 

PUBLIC BVBNTS IN NORWICH 
1873—1893: AOBD 43—63 . 

IT was only natural in an age of Conferences that it not 
infrequently fell to my Father's lot, in common with 
many other Norwich Citizens, to do something on these 
occasions to keep up the reputation for hospitality which 
Norwich is said to possess. 

The Social Science Congress held its Meeting in the City 
in the autumn of 1873. Among my Fathers guests at 
Carrow House on that occasion were two native gentlemen 
from India, Mr. C. Meenaeshaya and Mr. C. Sabapathiah, 
introduced to him by Miss Mary Carpenter. My Father 
said of them eighteen years later : 

They deeply impressed upon my mind at the time that it was a 
great anomaly for men of their stamp, ability, and integrity to have 
no voice in tneir country's afiairs. 

In 1883 he entertained Mr. Lalmohun Ghose when he 
came to speak at a Meeting in support of Lord Ripon's 
policy of giving greater freedom to our Indian fellow sub- 
jeds. In a speech on that occasion he said : 

I know that some of our fnend»--some very staunch and hearty 
fnends to Liberal principles in general — difier very much on Lord 
Ripon's policy in this particular matter. A very good friend of the 
Liberal Party in Norwich told me only the other day that England 
had gained India by the sword, and must hold India by the sword. 
It may be quite true that we did gain India by the sword, but if I 
am not mistaken it was by the sword that our forefathers in the 
last century attempted to hold America. That policy did not suc- 
ceed. I think it would be better, very much, that we should hold 

373 



374 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 



India — that great possession of England's — ^through affedion, and 
at all events by a regard of the Indians for us, rather than through 
fear of the sword. England's tenure in India would then be much 
more real and lasting and satisfadory than anything that might be 
expeded to result from the fear of the sword. 

Thus, though as my Father told Sir W. Wedderbum in 
1 89 1, he could. not "promise to join the ranks of those 
members of Parliament who undertake to initiate Indian 
Questions and Debates/' yet he was glad to give as much 
consideration as he could to " Indian Parliamentary busi- 
ness, with the view of obtaining for it just and sympathetic 
treatment in the House of G>mmons/' He sympathized 
with the efibrts made for the suppression of the Opium 
Traffic, believing that " our national policy in this matter 
needs to be radically changed." 

His interest in India was of long standing. In 1858 he 
was on a Committee, and helped to colleft funds, for es- 
tablishing scholarships ^^for Christian Young Men in- 
tended for the Indian Civil Service, or as Missionaries,'* 
in memory of Sir Henry Havelock, K.C.B. In a speech 
delivered at that time, just after India had passed through 
the crisis of the Mutiny, he quoted the saying of a Bishop 
that what India wanted was ^^more Bishops," to which 
"Punch" replied, in allusion "to the brave and noble 
Havelock," that what it wanted was " not more Bishops, 
but more Baptists." My Father went on to say that for his 
part he thought they wanted " more of all denominations, 
but especially of such men as William Carey, " who— op- 
posed by all the powers that could stand in his way— carried 
the Gospel of Christ to the heathen, and was, by the bless- 
ing of God, the instrument of great and lasting good." 
One connexion he had with India was his mendship 
with the Rev. James Smith, of the Baptist Missionarjr 
Society, who spent many years in that country, and finally 
returned there to die, because he could not be happy away 
from the land where his missionary work had been done. 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 375 

He used to keep my Father posted up in Indian affairs 
from time to time, and visited him when in £n£;land. His 
enthusiasm for gardening, and his gifts of shrubs from 
the East, made die link between him and my Father and 
Mother still closer. 

The Spcial Science Congress was quickly followed by 
the Meeting of the British Medical Association in 1874. 
Other gatherings in Norwich included the Norfolk and 
Norwich Archaeological Society in 1881, the Royal Agri- 
cultural Society, and the Congr^tional Union of^England 
and Wales, both in 1886, the British Dairy Farmers* 
Association in 1888, the Incorporated Law Society and the 
Primitive Methodist Connexion Conference in 1892, the 
Trades Union Congress in 1894, and the celebration of the 
eight hundredth anniversary of the Founding of the Cathe- 
dral in Norwich in 1 896. This last coincided with the visit 
of some American Congregationalists, some of them direA 
descendants of those who had crossed the Adantic in the 
^^ Mayflower,'* who wished to visit the places in England 
from which their forefathers had gone forth. 

Each of these ^therings, with their divergent aims and 
objefts, gave my Father the opportunity of receiving some 
or all of the Members at Carrow. 

The Festivities in connexion with the Agricultural Show, 
which was held the same year as the Colonial Exhibition 
in London, included the reception of some of the Indian 
and Colonial Commissioners conneded with it, who came 
down to Norwich to visit the Show. The members of the 
London Police Force, too, who were on night duty in the 
showyard, were not forgotten by my Father, who arranged 
for theip to have an outing to Corton, while the rest of the 
Police were entertained by him at the Drill HaU. The 
Show was held at Crown Point, on land belonging to the 
Firm of J. & J. Colman. At a preliminary Meeting to 
make arrangements, my Father said that his Firm was 
** very much interested, both in Norfolk and elsewhere, in 



376 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Agriculture/' and that he might say ^' it would be a scandal 
if my Firm selfishly shut up its grounds on such an im- 
portant occasion as the visit of the Royal Agricultural 
Society." 

The Prince of Wales, as he then was, being President 
of the Show, wished to insped the groimds privately before 
coming in his official capacity. This necessitated a private 
visit to Gu'row House for luncheon, where my Father had 
also received him on a previous occasion at the opening of 
the annual Fat Catde Show in 1880. 

My Father always took a keen interest in Agriculture. 
This was pardy, no doubt, because his business brought 
him into close touch with it, as so much of the raw mate- 
rials used by him consisted of produ6ls of the field, and he 
learnt how to sympathize with the farmers in their diffi- 
culties. He was naturally observant, and never took a drive 
in the country without closely noticing the kind of land 
and the crops which he passed. With the view mainly of 
improving the local breeds of catde, he went in for this 
branch of Agriculture, and his herd of Red Polls, together 
with his flock of Southdown sheep, became well known in 
-the agricultural world. Champion Honours both at Smith- 
field and the various local Shows came his way, yet he was 
ready to confess that to him " one fat beast was very much 
like another," and the praftical management was left in 
other hands. 

When the Trades Union Congress setded to come to 
Norwich, my Father wrote to one of its officials : 

No doubt some of your members will go much further and faster 
than I can in the diredtion of social politics, but that should not 
prevent our meeting in firiendly fashion. 

The friendship that can brook no difiFerence of opinion 
was not his. In one of his speeches he expressed the strong 
hope that ^^ if we fight about politics we shall still maintain 
our private friendships." Yet he held his opinions strongly. 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 377 

Thus, when he was asked to be a Vice-President of the 
Church Congress when it met in Norwich in 1895, he de- 
clined on the ground that : 

Whilst there may be much in which I should agree, I feel there 
must be many things said, and resolutions passed, from which I 
should dissent, and I feel therefore that I ought not to occupy such 
a position. 

But he added in his letter he would be very glad to show 
interest in the Congress in other ways, and offer hospitality 
to some of the guests. 

Occasionally Societies were entertained at Corton. Thus 
in 1879 Members of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' 
Society, and in the same year some Members of the British 
Archaeological Association (which was holding Meetings at 
Yarmouth) were received there by my Father and Mother. 
And in 1 891, when the East Anglian Branch of the British 
Medical Association met at Lowestoft, they welcomed its 
Members to Corton, and had the pleasure of entertaining 
as house guests Sir James and Lady Paget, Sir George and 
Lady Humphry, and Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson. 

The* Naturalists went to Corton specially to insped the 
Forest Bed, which after a scouring tide is sometimes visible 
on the beach, and to see some fossils which had been dis- 
covered in it. My Father kdpt these in another house in 
the same gu-den, Clyffe Cottage, which became a litde 
museum. Two of the most interesting finds were the dis- 
covery of four very fine and formidable looking elephant's 
teeth, alluded to in one of the following letters, and later 
some hyaena's teeth, found for the first time in the forest 
bed, thus upsetting some theories based on the supposed 
non-existence of that quadruped at the period when the 
forest bed was formed. My Mother gave an account of 
the visit of the Naturalists in a letter to her mother : 

At first they walked to the Museum, with the contents of which 
the geologists were much pleased, as they consist mainly of fossils. 



t 



378 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

etc., found m the immediate niighh9wrh99d. Jeremiah had a bit of 
the forest bed uncovered for them to see, but the paper which 
Mr. Harmer was to have read on the beach '^On the Corton 
Cliff/' was read in our drawing-room instead as the rain came on. 
. • . The paper was short, and seemed to us ignoramuses to confess 
that geologists know but little yet of the history of our globe. 

A fortnight later my Mother wrote in another letter: 

To-day we have had Dr. Leith Adams, a Professor of Geologyy 
here. He came to see our elephant's teeth which were dug out of 
the forest bed here. . . . He says he believes these specimens to 
be unique, and that they have not such fine ones in the British 
Museum. . . . He has no doubt th6y are the four teeth of one and 
the same elephant, nuiking the upper and lower jaw perfeft. 

Many of the fossils, after my Father*s death, were given 
by my Brother to the Castle Museum in Norwich, where 
they are more accessible to those who wish to study them. 
My Father had written in 1895: 

I have long had a real interest in the Norwich Museum and the 
Free Library. 

In 1876 he had been eleAed one of the Trustees of die 
former, and in 1894, when, after an existence of about 
seventy years, it was finally transferred to the Castle Build- 
ings, and came under the management of the Town Council, 
he was one of the old Trustees elefted to serve under the 
new Scheme. The idea of converting the old Casde, which 
had been used as a prison, into a home for the Museum met 
with my Father's warmest approval, for the old building 
in St. Andrew's was wholly inadequate, and exposed to the 
danger of fire from its close proximity to other buildings. 
He felt that the benefits of the Museiun would be spread 
far more widely if the exhibits could be shown to better 
advantage, and the Castle, from its central position and 
archaeological interest, part of it dating back to Normian 
times, formed an ideal place. When the chance came of 
acquiring it for this purpose, the scheme was happily in- 



PUBLIC EVENTS IN NORWICH 379 

augurated in 1886 bv the generosity of the late Mr. John 
Gurney, Mayor of Norwich that year, who offered ;C5^cxx) 
to restore the interior of the Norman Keep and convert it 
into a place for the ColleAion. When it was decided the 
following year to enlarge the whole scheme, build additional 
galleries, and raise the extra money required as a Memorial 
of Queen Viftoria's Jubilee, my Father thoroughly ap- 
proved. The work was carried out under Mr. Edward 
Boardman, as archite<5l, and in the autumn of 1 894 the Duke 
and Duchess of York came for the Opening Ceremony. 

In January of that year, at the last annual meeting of 
subscribers to the old Museum, my Father alluded to the 
Le6hires that had been given in connexion with it some 
fifty years earlier, and expressed the hope that a similar 
scheme might be inaugurated in the new building. 

The Lefhirers I remember, [he said,] were Professor Sedgwick, 
Captain Stanley, Mr. Bath Power, and others who gave Discourses 
of great interest. 

From the time the new scheme was started he was anxious 
that a Pidure Gallery should be included in it. This has 
happily been carried out. Writing on December 20th, 1888, 
to Mr. Henry G. Harwell, who was interesting himself in 
the same subjeA, he said: 

I am glad to think that any words of mine have had the efie£t, 
as you think, of assuring that an attempt v^ill be made to provide 
our old City with an Art Gallery. Certainly, in view of its history, 
it ought to have one. 

The words here alluded to were in a speech at a meeting 
held when additional funds were requir^ and the scheme 
was still more or less under discussion. 

My Father was very loyal to his own City, and felt it 
only right that Norwich should possess specimens of the 
works of those Artists who have helped to make it famous. 
He gave a pifture by Joseph Stannard of a Thorpe Water 



384 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

pints of 90up this afternoon for the pumpers and also coffee. The 
men work 6 hours, and then another sta£Fcome on for the next 6 
hours. Each gang is divided into two, so that they change con- 
tinually when ^^ time " is called, as pumping is very hard work. 
... It seems so unlike a Sunday ! 

Her report the next dav, when happily the water showed 
signs of abating, wa^ that her husband looked ^ very worn. 
He has had three very short nights and constant anxiety 
of course in superintending the men at the Works. . • • 
The Carrow Kitchen was of service almost all through the 
nirfit." 

Three years later, on the night of June 29th, 1881, a 
large fire occurred at Carrow Works. The loftiest building, 
used for packing mustard, was completely gutted, the long^ 
drought having made everything burn like touchwood. 
The light in the sky was said to have been seen as far as 
Ely. As the floors gave way, and the heavy machinery 
crashed down to the bottom, a tremendous strain was thrown 
on the outer walls. Fortunately, when these were built, 
my Father, with his usual caution, insisted on having them 
made of extra thickness. After the fire he wrote that " the 
universal testimony given me was that the strength of the 
building saved a much more serious afilkir.*' My Father, 
who was not very well at the time, was at Corton. When 
a messenger arrived in the early morning to break the news 
he took it very quietly. Happily there was no loss of life, 
but the difiliculty of arran^ng for the work to be carried 
on during the rebuilding of the mill, and of providing work 
for those who would odierwise have been suddenly thrown 
out of employment through no fault of their own, meant a 
heavy additional strain. As late as November my Mother 
said in a letter to her brother Herbert: 

Jeremiah seldom has a minute's leisure firom breakfast till 7.30 
p.m., to say nothing of evening work at accounts, etc. . . • This 
sumnier's catastrophe in the fire line has gready increased his 



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PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 389 

by it, and the Lady Edith de Wilton, Prioress at the dose 
of the fourteenth century, refused to hand over to the 
civil authorities a murderer, William Koc, who had fled 
there for protedion. A lawsuit followed, but the Prioress 
seems to have successfiJly upheld the right she claimed, 
and gained the day. 

An Anchoress of some note, the Lady Juliana, whose 
mystical book, the " Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love,** 
recorded visions vouchsafed to her, and who lived the life 
of an anchorite in a cell in the Churchyard of St Julian's, 
at Norwich, is believed to have been one of the Nuns at 
Carrow Prionr. She is supposed to have lived during the 
latter part of the fourteenth and the first part of the fif- 
teenth centuries. A manuscript copy, now very rare, of her 
bdok is in the British Museum. 

The Priory is not without other literary interest, for in 
a poem called " The Lide Boke of Phylyp Sparowe," in- 
cluded in ''The pithy, pleasant and prontable works of 
Master Skelton," Poet Laureate to King Henry VIII, and 
ReAor of Diss, there is a reference to Carrow, and the 
poem is thought by some authcH'ities to be the origin of 
the well-known Nursery Rhyme beginning : 

Who killed Cock Robin i 
I said the Sparrow, 
Widi my litde arrow, 
I killed Cock Robin. 

Skdton's poem is an Elegy on the death of a sparrow 

belonging to one of the Nuns, Jane Scrope, which had 

been killed by Gib, the convent cat, and the poem con- 

sequendy anathematises all cats in general, and this one in 

particular : 

That vengeaunce I aske and cry 

By way of exclamacidn 

On al die whole nacion 

Of Cattes wilde and tame 

God send them sorrow and shame ; 



1 

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390 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

That Cat specially 

That slew so cruelly 

Mv litle prety sparow 

Tnat I brought vp at Carrow. 

Among the articles found in the ruins were a Crudfix 
in bronze, a decade ring, a knife, coins, pieces of pottery, a 
Roman bone pin, a pair pf scissors, a thimble, and two 
amber beads, several of them pointing to the feminine side 
of the history of the Priory. The presence of the rare 
plant Aristolochia Clematitis, or birth wort, which still 
grows abundandy in the Priory garden, seems to suggest 
that the Nuns may have been learned in the art of medicinal 
herbs. 

The last but one of the Prioresses, Isabella Wygun, 
erefted a new dwelling-house for herself, at a little distance 
from the Nuns' quarters, consisting of three chief rooms — 
a Guest Chamber, a Parlour and a Bedroom. Her rebus, 
a Y and a Gun, is still found on doors and mantelpieces 
of the building, which now forms a home for my eldest 
sister and her husband. 

The suppre^ion of the Monasteries by Henry VIII led 
to the destrudion of the Church and the older part of the 
Priory, much of the saleable materials doubdess being dis- 
posed of, while some of thp stone was carried off for build- 
ings in the neighbourhood, so that only a few feet of the 
wdls were left in situ. But the newly ere6led Prioress's 
house escaped, and was granted by the King, in 1539, to 
Sir John Shelton — possibly as a salve for having sent his 
wife's niece, Anne Boleyn, to the block three years earlier. 
This house, with its hall and parlour that Blomefield de- 
scribed as ^^ grand rooms," was used as a dwelling-house 
by Shelton. But subsequent years saw the addition of 
partitioning walls, French windows, whitewash coverings 
to oak ceilings, and sundry other barbarisms. So when the 
surrounding ruins had been excavated, my Father turned 
his attention to Isabella Wygun's house, and determined to 



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PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 391 

restore it, as far as possible, to its original state. The work 
was carried out under the supervision of Mr. Edward 
Boardman as ArchiteA, and was finished in 18 86. 

The house was already known to my Father as a dwell- 
ing-place, for in 1 8 60- 1 861, when Carrow House was being 
enkrged, he and my Mother took refuge at the Abbey, 
which he then spoke of in a letter to his sister as ^^ this 
quaint but comfortable old place — as snug a home as one 
could wish during the busde of builders, etc. I don't know 
what you will say to it, but it impresses me very favour- 
ably indeed." He carried out the restoration pardy for the 
sake of the historic interest of the place, pardy to provide 
a usefid adjund to his own house, and partly as a home 
for the Norfolk Library he was collecting. The problem 
of housing this at Carrow House, in addition to his general 
library of books which was ever increasing, was becoming a 
serious question, and when the Librarian in despair sug- 
gested that the household jam cupboard might be utilised 
for some of the books, even my Mbther had jibbed. 

This Norfolk Library was a great interest to my Father. 
My Mother was one day reading to him a paragraph in a 
newspaper — ^written by one of those writers who have to 
appear to know so much, and often know so litde — to the 
efFeA that his one desire was to be included amongst the 
Tided Gentry. My Mother repeated afterwards how em- 
phatically he brought down his fist on the table with the 
retort, " No, indeed ! most assuredly my ambition doesn't 
lie in that diredtion." But when she pursued the subjed 
and asked in what direAion it did lie, he said, after a pause, 
"Well, I should like, for one thing, to possess a good 
Library," — a wish he was able in time to gratify by form- 
ing one unique in its way. 

The nucleus of it was a library dealing almost exclu- 
sively with Norwich, collediied by Mr. William Enfield, 
which my Father purchased in 1878. This was rapidly 
added to, and in the choice of books and their arrangement 



392 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

he had the invaluable and ungrudging help of Mr. James 
Reeve, Curator of the Norwich Museum, and Mr. John 
Quinton, Librarian of the Norfolk and Norwich Library. 
My Father soon realized that it was desirable to include zll 
Norfolk in its scope. So works relating to the County, or 
written by those conneded with it, tound here a place, 
though it must be confessed the question of where to draw 
the line was not always an easy one. The coUeftion came 
to include not only books and pamphlets, but election 
squibs, newspaper cuttings, portraits, engravings, etchings, 
and maps. He felt that a vast number of printed things, 
of slight interest as isolated specimens, acquire a new value 
when forming part of a series, and that a library of this 
kind, retaining much of the history of the County which 
would otherwise perish, would be of inestimable value to 
fhe historian of the future — ^that problematical personage 
to whom we look to clear up so many of the mysteries of 
to-day. Though he coidd not, he said, expeA his " at any 
time to be absolutely complete," yet " having formed the 
nucleus of a local library,*' so he told a meeting of the 
Huguenot Society, he deemed it a duty to complete it as 
far as possible, " that it may be of use to my neighbours 
and to such societies as this." He had a Catalogue of the 
books printed, for private circulation, under the title of 
^^ Bibliotheca Norfolciensis." His hope was that attempts 
on similar lines might be made for other counties. My 
Father's chief regret about the Library was that he had not 
more time for studying the books, but Saturday or Sunday 
afternoons often found him dipping into them. 

Passing reference only can be made to his travels during 
these years, necessary breathing spaces in a life full of 
engagements. In 1873, when on the eve of starting for a 
trip with the Rev. G. S. Barrett as his companion, he wrote 
from London : 

This morning I walked home by sunlight [from the House of 
Commons] reaching Belgrave Mansions at 4.20 . . . Going away 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 393 

seems to mean letter writing to clear up, and then I hope I have 
done with business for some weeks, but this is my twentieth letter 
to-day — a pretty good afternoon's work, particularly after gettine 
to bed at 4.30 ... I hope tht trip may do me good. Happily 1 
don't feel so tired at the end of this Session as at the end of last 
one, but at the same time I think the freedom from politics and 
business for a time will be of good service, and get me in good 
order for the winter's work. 

They went by the Rhine Valley to Nuremberg, which my 
Father described as " a fine old town," adding however : 

But I don't like towns on Sundays. So far as outward observ- 
ance is concerned there is nothing to complain of, but the rattle 
of carriages on the stones, and the people going to and fro, are not 
as pleasant as the Pine Woods would be . . . We are having a 
quiet resting day. No English service as ^^ the Clergyman is gone 
to the Vienna Exhibition and it was uncertain when he would re- 
turn," so we fall back on our thoughts and books. I take Maclaren, 
and Mr. B. &Ils back on Matthew Arnold. 

They went on to Passau and Linz, and thence to Vienna 
to see the Exhibition. They were not at all averse, my 
Father recorded after a short stay there, to '^ bid adieu to 
the eternal rumble of Vienna," going by way of Innsbruck 
to Pontresina, where they had "a glorious day on the 
glacier and weather magnificent," and where they made an 
ascent, ^^ the proper thing to do, viz., Piz Languard, from 
which is a very magnificent view." The Maloja Pass 
brought them to Chiavenna. From thence they drove 
over the Splugen to Andermatt, as "instead of staying 
last night at Dissends we pushed on here, so as to have 
an easier day to-dav and a better Hotel." This very long 
drive, only possible by changes of horses, was one my 
Father often mentioned. 

In the early part of 1878 an attack of gout, followed by 
a severe cold which kept him a prisoner tor some days at 
Belgrave Mansions, where he lived when in London, 
pointed to the necessity of getting away from the cold 



396 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

In a subsequent letter he wrote of this Service : 

I think it worth going all the journey to Rome just to hear the 
Music there on that day. 

He often talked of another visit to the City, but ^ the 
best laid schemes o* mice an' men gang aft a-gley^,** and 
the suggestion remained one of the might-have-beens of 
life. 

In 1884 he and my Mother paid a visit to Devonshire, 
partly on account of the health or one of their daughters, and 
the foUowing year they sought a milder climate during the 
prevalent east winds by a visit early in the year to MaJVem 
and Bournemouth. 

During the summer of 1885 he and his son Alan joined 
two of his daughters in Switzerland, one of whom had been 
ordered abroad for her health. He came first to Marren, 
from which place he ascended the Schilthorn. " Alan walked 
the whole way," he wrote home, ** but H. and I had horses 
for two hours, then a stiff climb of an hour or more, and a 
rough walk back of three hours." His comment on Ae 
excursion was, " worth seeing but not a thing to do every 
day — at least for the people who weigh fourteen stone.*' 
He returned by Giessbach, over the BrQnig Pass to Lucerne, 
and from there home. 

In the spring of 1886 my Father went to Torquay with 
his wife and some of his family ; and in the autuipn to 
Edinburgh, with his son Alan, to see the Exhibition. 

Eastbourne was visited in February, 1887, and in Au- 
gust he and my Mother and their youngest daughter went 
to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Davies at Treborth, afterwards 
going to Manchester, where other members of their family 
met them. The Exhibition in celebration of Queen Vic- 
toria's Jubilee, and the Meeting of the British Association, 
combined to make the few days spent there a time of un- 
usual interest. 

The following year my Father tried to escape the east 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 397 

winds in February by going with my Mother and some of 
bis family to Cornwall. St. Ives, Penzance, and Falmouth 
were included in the trip. In November of that year he 
went to Birmingham in order to attend the great meeting 
in Bingley Hall, addressed by Mr. Gladstone, the enthu- 
siasm of the audience on that occasion being something 
never to be forgotten by those who witnessed it. 

Meanwhile family events had come to remind my Father 
and Mother how quickly time was flying. In 188 1 they 
celebrated their Silver Wedding. The following year their 
eldest son came of age. They wished the Workpeople to 
share in their rejoicings, and a dinner was arranged for 
them, marred only by inclement weather. The kmdness 
of the Employees in giving my Brother a silver loving 
cup and an inkstand in honour of the occasion was much 
appreciated by my Father and Mother. 

In 1886 there came another gap in my Mother's family 
circle. Her sister-in-law, Maria, the wife of Herbert H. 
G>zens-Hardy, died on March 9th. Her death, under 
peculiarly sad circumstances, occurring after a short illness 
while she was nursing her daughter through scarlet fever, 
was deeply felt by my Mother. She sorrowed not only on 
her own account, but on behalf of the brother to whom 
she was so devoted. 

In the autunm of the same year my Brother Russell 
became en^ged to Edith Margaret, the fifth child of Mr. 
and Mrs. Richard Davies, of Treborth, near Bangor. My 
Father's interest in Wales, increased by this event, even 
led him to invest in some Welsh books and a dictionary, 
though one fears it always remained to him an unopened 
language. No daughter-in-law could have received a warmer 
welcome. My Father never found it easy to express all he 
felt in words, but his letter to her, written shortly before 
the wedding day, in reply to one of birthday greetings, 
will serve to show how deep his feelings were : 



398 JEREMIAH ' JAMES COLMAN 

Canow Hioascy 

Norwich. 
June 17, 1888. 
Mv dear Edith, 
I am sorry I had not time before to acknowledge your good 
wishes sent me a few days since. 

Even now I find it difficult to say much and certainly not all I 
would wish to say, but it is sometimes easier to write than to speak, 
and if next Wednesday words fail, you will still know you have as 
warm a welcome as is possible for any Bride coming to a new 
home. 

You and Russell start with bright prospers and much love. May 
the former (so for as God may see fit) grow brighter still till the 
end of life, and the latter strengthen too. I have been charmed and 
touched by your letter to Mr. Harvard, and I am sure the Woik- 
people will be the same. Nothing can be a greater pleasure and 
help to all at ^^ Carrow House " than to feel that those at ^ Bra- 
condale " are at one with us in the desire to do whatever can be 
done to help the folk about us by good and useful work. In this 
ou will find some discouragement and occasionally difficulty, but 
am sure this will not deter you from going steadily on. So will 
not merely your new relations, but all connected with Cairow 
Works, bless the day on which you made Norwich your home. 

W ith much love 

Ever yours 

J. J. COLMAK. 

The reference is to presents from the Carrow Works* 
Employees, which took the form of silver baskets for my 
Brother, and a pearl necklace and tea kettle for his bride, 
gifts that were greatly appreciated, not only for their in- 
trinsic worth, but for the kindly feelings they expressed. 

The Wedding took place at the English Presbyterian 
Chapel at Menai Bridge on June 20th, 1888. My Father 
arranged for the Workpeople at Carrow to have a day's 
trip to the seaside in celebration of the event. Among the 
wedding presents was a beautiful bronze vase, of Japanese 
workmanship, presented by the Mayor (Mr. F. W. Hanncr) 
and other Citizens of Norwich. This was given bjr the 



! 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 399 

Donors, so it was stated, not only to convey their good 
wishes to my Brother, but as a mark of resped for my 
Father and Mother, and it touched them deeply, especially 
as the gift was wholly unexpefted. 

An attack of gout in the spring of 1890 laid my Father 
aside for several weeks. " Gout is slow and rather weary 
work," he wrote. It was the most trying attack he ever 
had. The year before, when suffering a good deal with his 
throat, he had a6):ed on medical advice and gone for a 
course of baths at Ems, my Mother and other members of 
his family accompanying him. This year Aix-les-Bains was 
recommended, so he decided to go there " to try and wash 
the gout right away," accompanied by his daughter Ethel, 
a niece (Miss Edith Cozens-Hardy, now Mrs. T. M. Bur- 
ton), and myself. He derived considerable benefit from 
the treatment, and went again in 1894 for another course 
of baths. My Mother did not accompany him on the first 
visit, remaining behind to see after house furnishing and 
sundry other preparations for the marriage of their eldest 
daughter Laura. Her engagement the previous autumn to 
James Stuart, Fellow of^Trinity College, Cambridge, and 
Professor of Mechanics at that University, the eldest son 
of Joseph Gordon Stuart of Balgonie, Fifeshire, was a 
source of unmixed pleasure to my Father and Mother. It 
brought into their family circle one who shared their in- 
most feelings and interests, and to whom they could always 
turn in any time of perplexity for ready guidance and 
sjrmpathy. 

The Wedding took place at Prince's St. Congregational 
Chapel on July 1 6th, 1 890. The Carrow Workpeople were 
not forgotten by my Father in the festivities. Their sym- 
pathetic interest in any special event in the family again 
found expression in a tangible form in the gift of a diamond 
bracelet to my Sister. 

My Brother-ia-law's recoUedions of his first visit to 
Gorton, written down lately, which throw a sidelight on my 



400 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Father's and Mother's charafters, may find a place here, 
although referring to some three years earlier: 

The thing that impressed me most at Corton, next to your 
Mother's gracious presence, were the grass walks. I came down after 
a Saturday Sitting — a Debate about Education — in the House of 
Commons, on one of the last days of the Session of 1 887 — a broiling 
hot mid-August day. Your Father and I, and Mr. William Woodall, 
arrived about 6 in the evening, and walked along from the houses 
by the top of the cli£F, to a grassy clearing where your Mother was 
sitting. She was picking lavender, shredding the flowers, and putting 
the stalks into a basket by her ; and beside her were her brother 
Herbert and Hugh Price Hughes. George Chamberlin too was 
there, and her various daughters — ^to me then more or less an in- 
distinguishable group. Then tea was brought out. The silver 
struck me, after the dull of our Cambridge silver, as extraordinarilj 
bright. Add to this the beautiful autumn evening, the cool of the 
sea breeze after our hot day, the vivacious argument of Hugh Price 
Hughes, and the suggestive criticisms made by your Mother, (alwa^ 
to the point, and generally conveying more than they seemed at 
first to say), your Father's hearty welcome, and this amongst the 
most trimly cut and beautifully shaven grass, stretching for miles of 
walks in view of the sea, all-pervaded by the incessant soimd of the 
sea, and amongst evergreens and flowers— all this created an impres- 
sion upon my mind never to be forgotten of a mixture of the best 
parts of Nature and Art, cultivated conversation, and fiur-readung 
sympathies, which seemed to belong to the very essence of the place 
as well as of the people. 

Your Father was then, like your Mother, in the fiill vigour of 
life — an a£tive and striking figure, adive both mentally and bodily. 
I remember as we came down in the railway he pointed out to 
me, as we passed them, the series of market gardens, bright with 
autumnal flowers, a somewhat striking sight, which, more than 
once afterwards, I have seen he liked to watch as we passed. 

On the Sunday evening there was a Religious Service in die 
open air, when Hugh Price Hughes preached, and I read the lesson. 
I remember it was the 55th chapter of Isaiah, ^^ Ho, every one that 
thirsteth,.come ye to the waters." The Service was largely attended. 
It was magnificent weather, as indeed it was during all that visit, 
and set onto perfedion one of the striking peculiarities of Gorton, 
namely, the mixture of natural wildness and careftil cultivation. 



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A^tOR^UENOX AND 
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PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 401 

On the Monday your Father took Mr. Woodall and me up to 
Norwich, where after a hurried lunch in the schoolroom of Carrow 
House, we went off to Whitlingham, where Woodall and I addressed 
a meeting of some Liberal Association in a tent. We then got into 
a boat, and rowed across the river to Whitlingham Station, where 
I was for the first time introduced to your Father's tin box, for 
which he inquired immediately on his arrival, and which had been 
brought from Carrow to meet him. I afterwards became very 
familiar with it, as your Father scarcely ever moved from one place 
to another without it. It contained books of statistics of the Car- 
row business, and papers of the moment which he might be required 
to deal with. 

Next morning Woodall and Hugh Price Hughes were to go 
away by the early train for London, and I, meaning to join them, 
had written a note to your Mother to leave for her, but when I 
came downstairs she was, to my surprise, already preparing our 
breakfast — so very characteristic indeed this was of her. I don't 
think I ever left your Mother's house, however early, without her 
seeing me off, and I think that that was common to all her guests. 
The last time indeed I saw her alive and conscious, she haul got 
up and put on a dressing gown, and called to me over the stairs. 
I said to her, *^ You are looking ever so much better," and she said^ 
" Do you really think so? " as much as to say, " I fear you do not." 

Of course I had met your Father and Mother frequently before 
this visit I have just described, but I am quite sure that I never 
fiilly appreciated the breadth of charader of either till I had seen 
them at Corton. 

On April 1 6th, 1 890, Mr. Gladstone came to speak in 
Norwich. It was C3 years since his first visit to the City, 
when, as a guest of Mr. FeUowes at Shottesham, with whom 
his brother was related by marriage, he had walked over 
to see the Cathedral. The meetings of the National Liberal 
Federation were made to coincide with his visit. On his 
arrival he went to Carrow House, and my Father asked 
some of the dd^^ates to meet him at dinner at Carrow 
Abbey. After the great meeting, held at the Agricultural 
Hall, Mr. Gladstone went to Stoke to spend the night at 
Mr. Henrv Birkbeck's house, but the following day, a 
Satvu-day, he and Mrs. Gladstone, accompanied by Mr. 

D D 



402 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

and the Hon. Mrs. Hemy Gladstone, went to Corton to 
stay with my Father and Mother until the Tuesday. My 
Mother, whose admiration for Mr. Gladstone was un- 
bounded, wrote that it had ^Mong been a dream and a 
hope ** that they might have the " great honour " of enter- 
taining him. ' 

Pardy as a familv record, but especially for the sake of 
her mother, who, though too aged to take part personally 
in welcoming Mr. Gladstone to East Anglia, would, she 
knew, be keenly interested in his doings, my Mother put 
on paper her recolle<5lions of this visit. From these it may 
be permissible to make the following extrafts, partly on ac- 
count of the incidental light which they throw on her own 
tastes and charaderistics: 

I must add a word or two as to the impression made upon mc 
by Mr. Gladstone. He is altogether the most delightful guest that 
any hostess can ever entertain. He is so courteous and considentc^ 
and so grateful for the least kindness shown, that it can but be a 
pleasure to do'anything for him. 

The first thing which impressed me is his absolute absorption in the 
subjed he is discussing and the vigour and earnestmss of hb nuumer 
in speaking. He does nothing by halves. ... (I think however 
his sense of the beautifid in Nature is not quite so strong as his 
desire to master the meaning of everything he sees. His inner sight 
is stronger than his outer. When Mr. Buxton^ spoke of the olden 
days when the present site of Yarmouth was an estuary and Nor- 
wich its port, nothing would do but Mr. Gladstone must be shown 
on a map exa^y how the land lay, and he was too much absorbed 
in this study to leave the tea table when we ladies walked out to 
show Mrs. Gladstone the garden, and walk through the wood to 
the edge of the Lake. Soon Mr. G. joined us, and then Mrs. G. 
rallied him upon sitting indoors studying maps which he could do 
at home, instead of coming out sooner to see the lovely view. But 
he declared it was most interesting to him to learn all he could 
about any country through which he is passings and that I am sure 
is true.) 

^ Mr. Henry £. Buxton, of Pritton, whom Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone 
had driven over from Corton to see. 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 403 

The second thing which impressed me is the immense variety 
of subjeds which he talks upon, and in order to prove it I will jot 
down some that I can recall to memory though they can only be 
taken as a small sample, and it must be borne in mind that he took 
about 2 hours on Monday morning for work in his own room, and 
that of course I do not know what other subje£b he discussed after 
we ladies left the dining-room on Saturday or Monday. Here then 
is an imperfed list: 

The Nebular Theory. 

The Age of Man on the Earth. 

The Prohibition of Pork to the Jews. 

John Bright. 

Disraeli. 

Bi-metallism. 

Decimal System. With Mr. Inglis Palgrave, 

Duodecimal System, an Expert on the subjeA. 

The Currency. J 

Bank Notes, whether ^5 ought to be the minimum. 

Mitchelstown. 

Sir Fowell Buxton, and his encounter with the mad dog. 

Dean Stanley : Witty remark of Dizzy's when he heard the Dean 
arguing against dogmatic theology, ^ Ah, but you'll find it'll be 
*No Dogma, no Dean.' " 

H. M. Stanley. 

Agnosticism. 

Races of Men in England. 

Payment of Literary Men before Milton: Doubts whether 
Milton's ^10 for ^^ Paradise Lost " was such bad payment in those 
days. Shakespeare got nothing but looked to be paid by the acting 
of his plays. 

Lowestoft China. 

Forestry: Never knew a man inclined to cut down and clear 
round trees in a proper way whose wife was not a conservative in 
that matter and vice versa. I asked him if he were fond of trees 
as well as of cutting them down. ^ Of course I am. It is only 
those who use their judgment as to which are to be saved and 
which taken down who are fond of them I " 

Norfolk Clergy. 

Registration of all people as ^ Church of England " who make 
no profession of religion. Mr. S. N. Delf told him this fa^ and it 
was a surprise to him, and he did not think it was so in all distrifls. 



404 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Tithes in Wales. 

Disestablishment in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. 

Tax off Tea: ^^ Not likely to come o£F while people are so easily 
frightened and will keep up such great military expenditure.'* 

His own power of banishing public matters from his mind, and 
so sleeping well. Bright an instance to the contrary. 

Lord F. Cavendish : ^^ His death the worst blow Ireland ever had, 
but his death not primarily intended.'' 

Penny Post: Not an unmixed blessing to him, so he told Sir 
Rowland HilL 

Erastianism: Would not allow it was a religion at all: could 
recogni^ Mahometanism, etc., but not Erastianism, which sim|Jy 
believed what the civil power ordered. 

Adam: Was he a man or an imaginary being? Thinks the 
former on account of the genealoCT. 

Round Towers of Churches : New to him. Supposes the reason 
for them being the absence of large stone for the corners. 

Sir Robert reel : A very shy man. 

Shrimps. 

Belgian Fishing. 

Paston Letters. 

Chloroform and Ether. 

Execution of Charles I : His position ; was he lying down or 
kneeling at a block? From his knowledge of the axe thinks the 
latter would be the best position ! 

Recent discoveries of galvanized Iron. 

Phrenology. 

Macaulay. 

Crome : Norwich School of Painting. 

Duelling. 

Boxing: He had used as an illustration a technical term, ^ knocked 
out of time," and said to me, ^^ Perhaps you don't know what it 
means." So he explained that if after the interval of a minute 
allowed after a ^^ round," the man can't come up for another^ be 
is ^^ knocked out of time " ; and added, ^ Perhaps you are surprised 
at my knowing about this," but I said, ^^ No, I am surprised at 
nothing! " 

Fair Complexion: Declared that my husband was the only man 
in the House of Commons with a complexion, and he haa often 
looked at it! . . . Now it would not be wifely to omit that com- 
pliment to my husband's looks, would it ? 



PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 405 

Lux Mundi : New book with that title and on deep theological 
subjeds. 

A Work on the Pentateuch: Just out: was also discusKd with 
great energy. 

The First Chapter in Genesis. 

Unionist : '^ Don't approve of the word ; wi are unionists as much 
or more than thev. I prefer the term Dissentient Liberals." 

Mr. Da vies of Treborth: I happened to mention that Edith, 
[her daughter-in4aw/} was the daughter of Mr. Davies whom he 
had appointed Lord Lieutenant of Anglesey, and he said ** Yes, 
he is a very good man— -one whom we are sorry to lose." [He 
was not a Home Ruler.] 

I think I have said enough to prove that the ^* zigzag of con- 
versation " was very marked in the case of Mr. Gladstone. 

Once again my Father and Mother had the pleasure of 
entertaining Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone and members of 
their family, when in June, 1891, he came to the East 
G>ast, on Sir Andrew Clark's advice, for sea air and quiet 
after a severe attack of influenza. The Right Hon. John 
Morley, of whom my Mother had written after a visit of his 
to GuTow House, that " like most great men he is very 
unassuming," was a guest on the same occasion. The visit 
was unhappily broken into by the death of their eldest son, 
Mr. William H. Gladstone. Mrs. Gladstone had returned to 
London to be there during her son's operation. Unfevour- 
able news of his condition was received at Corton one 
evening, and hurried preparations were made for Mr. Glad- 
stone's departure the next morning. But after an interval 
Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone returned to Corton to finish the 
visit so sadly broken into, as the sea air and quiet had been 
doing him so much good. Later in the year my Father 
spent a night at Hawarden Casde, on his return from a visit 
to Mr. and Mrs. Davies, and he went there again in 1896 
in company with his daughter Ethel. 

He and Mr. Gladstone used sometimes to exchange 
books, mainly of a theological type. Thus in one of Mr. 
Gladstone's letters, replying to a letter from my Father 



4o6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

about the highly Ritualistic proceedings of a Clergyman of 
the Church of England, he added a postscript : 

I take the liberty of sending you two small and recent worb 
bearing upon the Old Testament, which I think may have an m- 
terest for you. 

To this my Father replied : 

I am much obliged for the volumes you have been kind enough 
to send. I shall read them with interest, feeling the subjed of 
them is vastly more important than the denominational differences 
which have led to this correspondence. 

Mr. Gladstone's opinions, as embodied in the following 
letter, of two of the most illustrious Nonconformist 
Preachers of his own time, may be of interest : 

Hawarden, 
Nov. 26, 1 891. 
Dear Mr. Colman, 

I thank you very much for the Sermons of Dr. Dale. And I 
can assure you that those of Dr. Maclaren were not so thrown 
away upon me as you might have supposed from my not having 
begun to read them when you w^re here. I have read many since 
and find they exhibit much rare power. I once heard Dr. Dak 
and found a lofty spirit as well as great force in his Sermon. . . . 
While I write the Dorset Elefidon is going on. That means 
another little fever is running through the country, as we await 
the result. May God grant it be propitious. 

Please to remember us kindly to Mrs. Colman and your family 
and believe me 

Most faithfully yours 

w. £. Gladstonk. 

In referring later to these visits, and the intercourse he 
had with Mr. Gladstone, my Father said he was never 
likely to forget " the inspiration it occasioned." Such an 
example of " high principle and devotion to duty " deeply 
impressed him, he said, and his comment was : 

If the opportunity I have had of intercourse with him has taug^ 



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PERSONAL AND FAMILY EVENTS 407 

me one thing more than another, it is that industiy and enthusiasm 
are the charai^ristics which have made him what he is. 

On September 12th, 1891, there came one of the great 
sorrows of my Mother^s life — ^the death of her mother at 
the ag'e of eighty-two. Although physical strength had 
been railing for some time, her mental power was remark- 
able to the last, and she never lost her keen interest in all 
that went on around her. My Mother was at Lethering- 
sett when the end came, and she used to say that it was 
remarkable that at her time of life she had never before 
witnessed the passing from the Seen to the Unseen, but in 
her mother's case the perfed peace of it all — Death coming 
like a gende sleep — ^impressed her the most. My Father 
summed up the influence of my Grandmother's life in a 
letter to his wife : 

Your Mother has left a bright memory and bright example 
which is better still, and will always live in the loving memory of 
all her relations and friends. 

Among the letters of sympathy to my Mother was one 
from Mrs. Gladstone, which specially touched her, written 
as it was so soon after her own bereavement when staying 
at G)rton. 

Hawarden Casde, 
Sep. 19, 1891. 

Dear Mrs. Colman, 

You do us only justice in believing we should have been very 
sorry had you not told me of your dear Mother's release. On all 
accounts I should not have liked to see it in the newspapers, and 
now when we can think of the sweet sleep — that falling asleep in 
merciful arms, no more pain or trial, it is very lovely, and will help 
you not to be selfish though tears must flow. Yes how wonderftil I 
the ^everlasting arms" — and thus whilst we sympathize with 
you how much have you to bring comfort and even joy !— -death 
has been brought so near to us I feel as if I could share your feel- 
ings, and although everything marly feels to be all sbadowedy there 
is light midst the darkness. 

Last evening we had so glorious a sunset, as the Heavens seemed 



4o8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

to speak to one in its unclouded blaze of living light! You will 
like to know how well my Husband is! We go to Scotland upon 
the 24th, Newcastle the 30th. 

With kindest regards to your family party, 

Believe me 

Yours sincerely 

Cath. Gladstone* 

In 1880, at the close of fifty years of married life, my 
Grandfather and Grandmother had celebrated their Golden 
Wedding by a family gathering. Almost all their descend- 
ants were present, giving them a silver-gilt 6pergne to mark 
the event. Ten years later they kept their Diamond Wed- 
ding, receiving from their children, grand-children, and 
great-grand-children, an etching of the pi6hire by B. W. 
Leader, R.A., " At Evening Time it shall be Light," and 
an illuminated address. Yet one more anniversary they 
spent together before the break came. 

After my Grandmother's death my Mother wrote a short 
sketch of her life for private circulation. 

It has been a delight to me, [she wrote in reference to it,] to do 
anything I could to keep our precious mother's memory a living 
thmg. 



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CHAPTER XXVI 

DEATH OF HIS WIFE AND HIS SON 
1895 1897: AGED 64 66 

IN the early part of 1895 my Mother's health began to 
give cause for anxiety. Coinciding with the beginning 
of her illness, came the news of the oeath of Mr. Henry 
Birkbeck. To my Father, troubled and anxious as he was 
about his wife, this brought special sadness. Mr. Birkbeck 
was one for whom he had the highest regard, and with 
whom he had been very closely associated through the 
storm and stress of Norwich politics. My Father, who once 
described him as ^^ a pattern to be followed in business, in 
public, or private life, not least in times of trial," wrote at 
the time or his death: 

It 18 some 50 years since as a boy I received my first kindness 
from Mr. Birkbeck at Stoke, and since then I have so often had 
others from him which will remain deeply engraven on my memory, 
and will be so to the end of life. He has had the respe£t and regard 
given to few, but not more than he deserved. 

The anxiety about my Mother increased, but in March 
there came a rally, and she was able to go to Corton, where 
she could still enjoy the beauty and restfulness of the place 
which was so dear to her. 

The following month there came the shock of her father's 
death. He passed away on April 29th, 1895, aged 88. They 
had last met at Corton during the previous Christmas-time. 
It was no small part of her sorrow that she was not able to 
be with him and tend him during his last illness. The im- 

409 



4IO JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

provement in her own health unhappily did not last long, 
and those who watched her felt that in spite of all that 
could be done the dose was gradually drawing near. It 
came on the evening of Friday, July 5th, at the age of 64. 
Five days later, on a lovely summer day, she was laid to 
rest at the Rosary in Norwich. 

The widespread sympathy, coming from every side, and 
hushing into silence all conflifting differences of opinion, 
touched my Father deeply in his sorrow. What that sor- 
row meant for him must be gathered from a few of his 
letters. Writing to his daughter-in-law from Corton, on 
September ist, afrer returning from Scotland, where it had 
been thought a change of scene might help, he said: 

Since writing the foregoing we have had a Service at the Chapel 
with a melancholy interest, viz., the Communion Service. Last 
time we were all together — the thought that since then dm has gone 
^ within the veil " brought thoughts too deep for utterance and 
made the time one of subdued feelings. 

On September 4th he wrote to his eldest son: 

I susped to-morrow will be the first Birthday for many years 
when you will miss your Mother's note in which she sent you her 
best wishes for the future. It is these anniversaries which bring 
our loss so painfully back, and I have without her to send the greet- 
ing to you alone. 

I sometimes wonder if those who are gone still know what 
goes on here. If so I am sure she will to-morrow be thinking of 
you — but if not we all have the recolledion of her life to inspire 
us. May the best of blessings and long life with your dear Wife 
and Children be yours. 

The same month brought the anniversary of my Father's 
wedding day. On one of these anniversaries, in 1887, "^7 
Mother had written to her youngest daughter: 

To-day is, as you know, a memorable anniversary in our family 
history. Thirty-one years make a long stretch of time to look bad: 
upon. I am sure your Father and I can say, ^ Surely goodness and 
mercy have followed us all the days of our life." 



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DEATH OF HIS WIFE AND HIS SON 41 1 

And now that the 25th ot September had come round 
again, for the first time since the parting, my Father wrote 
to his daughter-in-law: 

Thanks for your very kind and sympathetic letter. You are 
right in your idea that to-day has been full of many memories, but 
I try to let the pleasant one of past joys prevail over present blank 
and dreary ones, for I am quite sure that such would be the wish 
of our lost one. 

In the midst of all the sorrow and desolation there is much to 
be thankful for, and amongst them the ^ children's children " grow- 
ing up. 

Christmas-time brought the same resolution. In another 
letter to his daughter-in-law, written from Corton, he 
recorded: 

■ 

We are having a subdued Xmas and of course we can't attach 
the usual term ^ merry ** to it, but I am in thought and recoUedion 
thinking of former happy days rather than the parting which has 
come since last year. 

At first I shrank from the idea of spending Xmas here, but then 
again I thought that //departed Spirits visit this earth again I am 
sure my dear Wife would sooner find us here than anywhere else, 
so here we are with not a few tears, yet quiet and peaceful. Your 
Boy certainly is helping us with his sunny face, and to-day has 
been downstairs a good deal, but bright and good all the time. 

His wife's death meant the loss of one to whom he had 
ever been able to turn for guidance in difficulties, whether 
of a private, business, or public nature. Her power of 
looking at a question from all sides, her ^^ judicial mind" 
(to quote the phrase of one closely allied to her) made her 
one on whose judgment others frequently relied, and this 
often on matters far removed from her immediate interests. 

The Rev. J. G. Rogers, D.D., who knew her well, wrote 
of my Mother: 

She was one of the ablest women I ever met and withal one of 
the gendest and most amiable. 

And the Rev. A. M. Fairbairn, D.D., LL.D., Principal 



412 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

of Mansfidd College, Oxford, in thanking my Father for 
an account of her life written by my eldest sister, wrote: 

It is a fitting memorial of the strong and noble woman who 
through so many years gave grace and dignity to your home. One 
could not meet her without feeling the touch of a charafter at once 
potent and gracious, built out of clear convidlions and radiant loves. 

I well remember being guided by her through Norwich, and 
being struck not only with her knowledge of all in it that was 
venerable and historical, but still more with her adnuration for the 
men who had served the City, helped to win its freedom, and make 
it illustrious. She has ever since stood out in my mind as the ideal 
English Mother, full of the Christian graces, and rich in the civil 
virtues that make our homes great. 

Dr. Fairbairn's insight, as shown in the last paragraph, 
reveals a very charafteristic side of my Mother's nature. A 
love of freedom was inbred in her, and those who suffered 
for it were certain of their meed of reverence. One friend, 
whom she was always glad to welcome as a delightful guest, 
on one occasion began to decry her native County tor its 
want of heroism. This quickly roused her. ** He says," 
she wrote in a letter to her brother Herbert, " there has 
been no * heroism * in Norfolk — and yet he lived for years 
within a few yards of the Lollards' Pit 1 " The spot where 
Thomas Bilney was burnt at the stake, in 1 53 1, to mention 
only one of many who suffered there for dieir faith, was 
sacred in her eyes. 

The religious side of my Mother's nature was strong, 
and many of her conviftions, formed in early life, remained 
unaltered to the end. Her belief in the ** Larger Hope," 
formed certainly by 1 865, only grew more strong with time. 

The reason I cannot believe in the do&rine of the Eternity 
of Punishment, [she wrote in that year,] is because it seems to me 
to be opposed to the charaSter of God as a loving Father, and I 
cannot credit that He would have created beings at all if He fore- 
saw an Etimity of woe for the majority of them. 

The Rev. J. Stougfaton, D.D. on one occasion preached 



DEATH OF HIS WIFE AND HIS SON 413 

a sermon from the text, " And I, if I be lifted up from the 
earth, wiU draw aU men unto me." The foUowing morning 
he called on my Mother, when they had a " long chat." 

I asked him, [wrote mj Mother to her husband,] how he could 
explain that promise unless it meant that ^^ all *' would at last be 
saved. He thinks it must be qualified by other texts which speak of 
the eternal death of some. I would rather qualify away the word 
eternal, and preserve the glorious assurance that the Atonement 
will be efiedhial to the salvation of the whole world. 

Life was never trivial to my Mother. 

We are apt to look upon death as solemn, coming at the close 
of life, [she wrote to her brother Herbert in 1859,] but it seems to 
me that life itself is quite as solemn. 

A year or so earlier she had written to him: 

I know there is pardon for the very guiltiest, but I never like to 
hear people remark without qualification that ^* the greatest sinners 
generally become the greatest saints.** No doubt it is so sometimes, 
but even then there must be in such cases a ntuir-ending feeling of 
deep remorse at the thought of having led others into sin, who may 
never afterwards return from their evil ways. 

Her views on Prayer were embodied in a letter to the 
same brother in 1857, referring to a "short discussion" 
she had had with a Minister on the subjeft. . 

He mentioned that a woman in Wales who had 8u£Fered from 
epileptic fits for years sent for a Methodist who had gained the 
reputation of being a man ^^ mighty in prayer,'* and he came and 
prayed with her, and the next day she was so miraculously con- 
valescent that she walked 3 miles to hear him preach. Mr. T. sees 
nothing incredible in this cure as he thinks the limt to success in 
praver is simply the extent of the person's faith, because Christ 
tola his disciples they could have cast out the devil if they had had 
faith. It seems to me that people who argue in this way forget 
'that tho' God is omnipotent it does not follow that He will always 
gxirt His power in the way which mortals wish, and that He has 
given us no warrant for believing that He will interfere with the 



414 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

laws of the physical universe now. I do not see why, if a woman 
could get miraculously cured without the aid of any means, there 
should be any moral reason why young R. should not get a new eye, 
if he had but &ith enough, and jtt what warrant does the SiMc 
give us for believing this ? But if you hint to believers in these ex- 
traordinary tales that you cannot credit them, they direftly meet 
you with the assertion that ^^all things are possible to God " — a 
h6t which you believe as devoutly as they do I I do think that such 
accounts lead to superstition in those who credit them, and that 
there is great danger of them causing scepticism as to religious 
truth in general in the minds of those who cannot credit them. 
Tell me your opinion on this matter as freely as I have told you 
mine. 

m 

My Mother fdt it was very possible to exaggerate the 
importance of Dodrines. Writing to her brother Herbert 
in i860 she expressed the view: 

Would it not be hr better if instead of disputing about the 
necessity of good works or the reverse. Christians would be content 
to practise them, but unhappily it is far more easy to theorize than 
toaa? 

One of my Mother's works was to compile a LeAionary 
for use at Family Prayers, afterwards printed for private 
circulation. 

But it must not be inferred that she was always talking 
or writing of religious matters. She was the last to obtnule 
a subjeA so sacred when it did not harmonize with the 
occasion, and might arouse the slightest sense of jarring. 

Her delight in Nature, and her keen interest in all that 
happened in the world around her, testified to a wide 
sympathy — revealed in many ways to those who needed it 
To her youngest daughter, whose studies at her boarding 
school were interrupted by a slight illness, she once wrote: 

You may learn a lesson of gratitude in the sick-room, to be after^ 
wards praracally applied in trying to relieve the discomforts of 
those who are suffering from illness and have no comforts to alle- 
viate it, and this lesson may be more deeply important than any 



1 

i 



DEATH OF HIS WIFE AND HIS SON 415 

one in the School curriculum ! So you see die time even now need 
not be wasted. So ends my sermonette ! 

Just before the first anniversary of my Mother's death 
the sudden illness of my younger brother, Alan, revealed 
a delicacy of the lungs. As soon as he was well enough he 
was taken to Corton for sea air and ouiet, but the improve- 
ment, which enabled him to do a little work after his return 
to Carrow, did not continue, and at the end of O&ober he 
had a relapse. 

Just at the same time there came grave news of the 
condition of Mr. Richard Davies of Treborth, who had 
been in failing health for some time. He pass^ away on 
0<Stober 27th. This was a keen grief to my Father, and 
meant the loss of one he gready revered. Writing to the 
eldest daughter, Miss Mary Davies, a few days later, he said 
of him : 

The renewal within the past few days of anxiety about Alan 
makes me very thoughtful about the future, but whatever comes I 
am sure I feel the better for having known your Father — the 
memory of him will always be inspiring. 

Amongst words of sympathy to Mrs. Davies at the same 
time, my Father wrote: 

We know so little about what the future means and involves, 
but we may all find some comfort in the hope of reunion at some 
other time and where death and parting will be imknown. 

On November 20th my Brother left England for Egypt, 
on board the P. and O. steamship " Simla," going round by 
the Bay of Biscay. My eldest sister and her husband, 
Mr. F. S. Worthington Qiis medical attendant), and I, who 
went with him, reached Egypt a few weeks before my 
Father and his two other daughters, who joined us at the 
Mena House Hotel, close to the Pyramids. A day or so 
after our start my Father wrote fi-om Carrow House to his 
brother-in-law, Herbert Cozens-Hardy, who had gone to 
the Docks to see my Brother start: 



41 6 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I was much toufched by jour going down to see Alan off and 
am sure it would please and cheer him. I felt I could not do more 
than say the goodbye here, for though hopeful I cannot but fed 
very anxious. 

My brother left with many expressions of good wishes 
that die journey might lead to renewed health. One which 
specially touched him came from those in the Department 
of the Works at Girrow to which he had given his chief 
attention: 

We the undersigned Employees in the Blue Department, hearing 
of your journey to a foreign land, desire at this time to wish you 
a safe voyage, a speedy restoration to health and strength, and a 
quick return to your usual place amongst us. 

Soon after his start my Father wrote to him: 

Carrow House, 

Norwich. 
Nov. 26, 1896. 
Dear Alan, 

I am not going to burden you with a long letter, for I dare 
say you don't get sufficiendy strong for much reading at present. 
But I want to tell you how deeply I sympathize with you in your 
present disablement, and how I ardendy trust and pray that the 
means used, and the journey you have undertaken, m^y in due dme 
restore you to complete hesuth and strength. 

I have had very many kind enquiries for you, and what is perhaps 
best of all, had mention of cases where complete recovery has fol- 
lowed such a trip as you are taking. . . . 

And now, my dear Alan, goodbye. I can only pray — ^may God 
have you in His keeping. Don't be over anxious about yourself, 
but just quietly drink in the good air by which I hope you are 
surrounded. 

I 

Love to all your party, 

Your affeftionate Father, 

J. J. CoLMAN. 

The months of anxiety had been a heavy strain on my 
Father. In addition to ordinary business cares there had 
been the extra work involved in converting the Firm of 



DEATH OF HIS WIFE AND HIS SON 417 

J. & J. Colman into a Private Limited Liability Company. 
The change involved no alteration in the personnel of the 
management or proprietary, the same Partners becoming 
DireAorSy but it had entailed additional work during those 
clouded months. 

The visit of the Duke of York to Norwich, involving 
his reception at Carrow for Luncheon, meant some amount 
of social festivities for which my Father felt little in the 
mood, with his thought so much with the son just started 
on his voyage eastward. 

In the middle of January it was decided to leave Mena 
House, and start on the Dahabeah ^^Hathor '* up the Nile, 
thus gratifying my Brother's strong wish to see something 
of that wonderful river. There were days when he was 
well enough to be carried up on deck, but those who 
watched him could not shut their eyes to the faft that the 
little store of strength was being gradually exhausted. 
Writing to his daughter4n-law the day suter reaching 
Luxor, my Father foreshadowed the end : 

Dahabeah « Hathor.'* 
Feb. 3rd, 1897. 

My dear Edith, 

You have written to me and to all of us so often and so fully 
that I must let my letter this time be to you, and I wish it could 
be at a more hopeful moment. But in truth this is the worst day 
we have had yet. I had a long talk with Worthington last even- 
ing, and he said he could only say that our dear Patient was weaker 
than when he came out, and this is unfortunately too obvious to 
us all. ... 

I was very glad to learn of the success of the Jenny Lind Meet- 
ing,^ and that KusselFs efforts have, so far been rewarded. I cannot 
think any real hitch will now occur. I agree in all you say about 
Lord Leicester — he is a true and courteous English gentleman. 
Indeed if I were to pick out ^^ men whom I have known " of the 
highest type of Courtesy, I should put down on my list Lord 

^ Making the new Building Fund for the Jenny Lind Infirmary the 
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Memorial for Norfolk and Norwich. 

£ E 



^ I 



41 8 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Leicester, the late Lord Stafibrd, Mr. Gladstone, and your own 
Father. . • . 

I cannot say that the Nile is to my mind a specially beautiful 
river. I don't mean that it is not interesting, but as regards real 
beauty that is not the term to apply to it. With respe£t to atmo- 
sphere it is altogether another matter. That is bright, beautiful, 
and health giving, and I shall always feel, and be thankful to feel, 
Alan was taken to the place where he had the best chance of re- 
covery. Our only bad day was yesterday when a very strong wind 
was blowing and the air full of the dust from the Desert. Even 
then it was not really cold, but so hazy one could only see a very 
short distance ahead of the boat. Egypt has, however, one constant 
perpetual plague, viz., the Flies — they are everywhere present with 
us, about us and on us. What they must be as the months get 
hotter I know not, but here they are now. The natives however 
don't seem to mind them, for the flies swarm on their fiices, and 
they seem quite imconcerned. 

I have just been to Alan's Berth. He is lying perfeAly quiet 
and peaceful and in no pain, but oh! so weak and strengthless. 
One can see too obviously what last night's pain has done for him, 
and you will not wonder that I write in utter despair. 

With much love to yourself and all your household, not omitting 
your two youngsters. 

Ever yours very aftedionately, 

J. J. CoLMAN. 



On the morning of Sunday, February 7th — a cloudless 
morning, following a sunset of radiant beauty, and a night 
of utter peacefulness — the close came to my Brother's life 
on earth. My Father's thoughts, in the first desolation of 
sorrow, turned back to the one remaining son in England. 

Dahabeah '' Hathor,** off Luxor. 
Feb. 7th, 1897. 
My dear Russell, 
At last the long impending blow has fallen, and our dear Alan 
has left us for another world, and has left us, too, a bright example 
of how to spend a life which seems to us who survive all too short. 
Anxious as I have been all along since I saw Egypt was not 
doing him any real good, I have yet half clung to the possibility 
that he might yet be spared to get home again, but even this hope 



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DEATH OF HIS WIFE AND HIS SON 419 

was vain. . • . The end came this morning at about a quarter past 
seven, with the sun shining brightly, and the morning as perfect as 
can be imagined. 

It is all too fresh to realize that one so able and so true, and 
whom I hoped would be a help to me in my remaining; years, and 
a companion for life to you, is taken away from us. What it all 
means we know not yetj but at least this lesson may be pressed on 
us both — ^whilst engaged in the duties of this life, and the claims 
of business, to remember that the time will come when we shall 
have to leave them all, and to live so that we may be prepared for 
the other world which must come sooner or later to us aU. . • • 

Ever yours afie£tionately, 

J. J. COLMAN. 

The loss of dear Alan is too recent for me to realize it yet, [he 
wrote in another letter to his son,] but we must both of us try to 
make up to one another, and to those about us, not only what he 
was, but what as the years went on he bade fair to become. 

The loss of the son whose ability and keen interest in 
his work would have done so much, it seemed, to ease the 
burden of business on my Father, was an irreparable one 
for him. 

I remember, [he wrote to his brother-in-law, Herbert Cozens- 
Hardy,] Mr. Gladstone said to me of his son whom he lost that 
he had never been the cause 6f a moment's anxiety to his Parents 
and Family. Such is just what we can say of Alan. He has left a 
bright example and fragrant memory. 

He died at the age of thirty. It had been a real pleasure 
to my Father to watch him taking a part in public aflairs, 
as well as devoting so much attention to the Firm with 
which he was conneded. In 1894 he had stood for the 
Norwich Town G>uncil as a Liberal. My Brother's very 
decided opinions, the result of much reading and thought 
on sociological subjefts, his denunciation of much of the 
legislation of the day, and his strongly expressed belief that 
^^the last two things politicians think about are (i) What 
will be the effed; of their measiu'es on charafter ? and (2) 



420 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

What will be their efFeft on future generations ? ** and his 
outspoken utterances in defence of an individualistic stand- 
point, doubtless frightened some who might otherwise have 
been counted among his supporters, and the contest ended 
in a defeat. 

Thanks for what you say about Alan, [my Father wrote to a 
friend at the time.] I have no doubt he is more respected, and will 
stand better in the long run for having let people know just what 
his opinions are^ and if the Liberal Partv choose to kick because 
of them — ^so much the worse for the Liberal Party. It is worth 
noting, however, that, after all, in the defeats of that day here, the 
majority against him was the smallest of any, which does not look 
as if his views met with disfavour everywhere. 

Though defeated on this occasion he had later been 
chosen a Parish G>uncillor for Trowse, and in 1895 he was 
eleded, without a contest, for the Henstead Division as a 
member of the Norfolk County Coimcil. The work in 
connection with that had interested him greatly. 

On the loth of February came the last sight of Luxor^ 
as we turned our faces homewards. In a letter to his son 
my Father wrote : 

We are making our way slowly down the river towards Cairo. . . . 
Even apart from the sad associations of our trip, Egypt is not a 
place which fascinates me. The utter squalor, misery and dirt of 
the great part of the population is to me most depressing. 

It was little wonder that he dreaded the return home. 
To Mrs. Davies he wrote from Florence : 

How I shall get through the time when we do first get home I 
know not^ but must rely on the promise that strength shall be given 
for the day. One thing at all events I must try to do, and that is 
to help Russell as long as life shall be spared me for the increased 
duties which will come to him. 

A month later, when the return was over, and the earthly 
remains of the tenderly loved son had been laid to rest in 



DEATH OF HIS V/IFE AND HIS SON 421 

the Rosaty at Norwich, my Father wrote to the same 
friend : 

There is nothing fresh to say about our doings. We are settling 
down, or trying to do so, to the reality of the present — thinkine 
rather than talking of those who are gone, but this you know all 
about. The spring is fortunately coming on, and this gives us 
brighter and more hopeful views. 

Amongst the letters of sympathy my Father received 
was the following one from his mother : 

Feb. 26th, 1897. 

Dearest Jh. 

I do not know how to write or what now I have taken my pen. 
It is only time that will enable those who knew and loved dear 
Alan to acquiesce, but the great and good ^^ Father *' who has re- 
moved the treasure from us can enable us to say ^^ Thy will be dme^* 
and He will (I trust) draw each heart in humble submission to feel 
thankful for the gift of such a son and relative, to appropriate 
what dear Alan was in remembrance, and example in patient quiet 
suffering. 

The sorrow seems universal, ** high and low," " rich and poor," 
and all are feeling so much for you, but ^^He who tempers the 
rough wind to the shorn lamb " will not forsake you, in this ex- 
tremity, and we must not repine at losing him, much as we desired 
to retain him. 

I remember in my bitter bereavement when you and dear Cary 
were so tender to me, and my heart almost failed in the prospe£t. 
It is " day by day,** " moment by moment." I know you will ex- 
cuse these personal references. 

I will end by saying take courage with David's words, ^' I shall 
go to him," and when we all meet around the Throne (if permitted 
to do so) we shall see the ^ Why and wherefore " so difficult to 
understand now. • . . 

With love to each. 

Believe me y' sympathizing Mother, 

M.a 

Ohe eflTed on my Father of the illness of his wife and 
his son was this — a deepening sympathy with the poor, 
who have oft-times to watch those near and dear to them 



422 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

suffer and die, while their poverty keeps them from supply- 
ing the things which might save life. Thus he wrote to 
his daughter-in-law, when her little son was not well, a 
fortnight after the death of my Mother : 

I trust all the precautions you are going to take will have the 
desired efFeA.. You can't have children with all the satisisu^on 
they bring without corresponding anxiety, but the care for them 
brings out all the best feelings of human nature. . • • 

Whatever ctkSt the drift of Politics during the past few jrears 
has had on me to lessen my Radicalism, I think the illness of my 
dear Wife, and now the need of care for yoiu* Boy, has made me 
almost Socialistic as to Medical Help to the Poor. It must be 
trying in the extreme for them to see those they love sufier and 
oiten die, for want of the many comforts and aids to recovery 
which the richer class can get without difficulty or any serious cost 
to themselves. 

Although all unavailing in the case of his wife and son^ 
it was yet a comfort to him to feel that everything that 
medical skill could suggest had been tried to save life. His 
thoughts took a pradical form, and by his' Will he be- 
queathed the sum of ;^2,ock) annually, for a period of 
twenty years, the money to be used by the Trustees, or 
persons appointed by them, for such of the Employees, 
Ex-employees, or their Widows, of the Firm or Company 
of J. & J. Colman, *^ as by reason of ill-health sickness 
age or infirmity,'' should, in their opinion, stand most in 
need of the same. 

When in 1 895 and 1 897 my Father wished to perpetuate 
the memory of his Wife and his Son, his thoughts turned 
to the Children's Hospital in Norwich, the Jenny Lind 
Infirmary. Badly in need as it was of a new building for 
In-Patients, he gave a new -site for this purpose, on the 
outskirts of the City, in memory of his Wife, and bought 
the old site from the Charity, thus benefiting its funds, 
and converted it into a Children's Playground in memory 
of his Son. And so when the time came for his children 



DEATH OF HIS WIFE AND HIS SON 423 

to commemorate their Father's memory, they felt it would 
have been most in accord with his own feelings to attach 
their gift to the same Institution, one which had done so 
much in the past to alleviate the sufferings of children, and 
which would, to repeat his own words, provide " the many 
comforts and aids to recovery which the richer class can 
get without difficulty.'* 

The little Chapel at Corton contains two stained glass 
windows placed there by my Father in memory of his wife, 
and one in hiemory of his Son ; while another has since 
been added by his children in memory of their Father. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 

• 

THE Rev. J. Guinness Rogers, D.D., whose long 
friendship with my Father gives him a tide to speak, 
has put on record some of his impressions about him. A 
political meeting at Yarmouth in 1868, with the latter in 
the Chair, brought them once more together after a slight 
acquaintanceship. The return of Dr. Rogers with him to 
Carrow House, where, in the absence of other members of 
the family, they saw much of each other during the few 
hours spent together, cemented a friendship that was to 
last throughout life, and of which Dr. Rogers has testified 
** the closer my intimacy, the higher was my estimate of 
the man." Dr. Rogers, continuing, has written: 

In some respe£b, Mr. Colman was a very pronounced Puritan. 
It was in matters of ritual especially that this appeared. . . . He 
himself loved the most perfect and absolute simplicity. In all 
matters of worship his motto was, ^^ When unadorned, adorned 
the most." This spirit was carried throughout all his domestic 
arrangements. The visitor might feel himself perfe£Uy at home, 
and the days. I spent at Corton were among the red-letter dajrs of 
my life. • . • 

After a reference to the gatherings at The Clyffe, Corton, 
where Dr. Rogers was for many years an annual visitor, 
and where my Father and Mother gathered together friends 
of differing views, " the subjeAs of our discussions being 
various — political, historical or theological," Dr. Rogers 
returns again to my Father: 

Let me speak more of Mr. Colman himself. Of his commercial 
capacity and energy, the great business which he developed in so 

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CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 425 

remarkable a degree is suficient evidence. Everyone who knew 
anything of English commerce knew him as one of its distin- 
guished representatives. But his real intelledual power was only 
understood by those who mingled with him in familiar intercourse. 
It would not have been easy to find a man of higher principle. 
His views were carefUIy formed after considerable inquiry in 
reading and conversation. When he had taken a position it would 
not have been easy to turn him from it. 

Unassuming himself, he was not likely to regard with any 
&vour the ambitious pretensions of others. He was generous in 
his appreciation of real worth, but exceedingly keen in his criticism 
of anything that had an asped of self-seeking. In politics he re- 
tained a good deal of the old Whig temper, by which I mean he 
had no love for the social nostrums of modern days, nor could he 
ever be called a Radical. Sanity was the great charai^ristic of his 
political creed. He believed in steady progress rather than revolu- 
tionary change. 

Nothing seemed to offend him more than language which tended 
to encourage in the minds of people hopes that could never be 
realized. To him the gospel of ransom was peculiarly ofiensive, 
and his confidence in the prominent statesman who preached it 
was never restored. 

He was a typical Nonconformist politician of his generation, 
and one on whose judgment I could always rely. He was con*:^ 
siderate of the rights of others, and as an employer he always cared, 
and cared intelligently, for the well-being of his workmen. 

He was a strength to the Church, of which he was a consistent 
and a^ve member; an ornament to the City, #hich gave him all 
the honour it had to bestow; and in the House of Commbns was. 
one of t|iQse men whose unbending consistency does so nmch to 
maintain the reputation of that great assembly.. He was, in fa£l, 
one of the men who are known to be superior to any spirit of 
fadion, and to the di^tes of an unworthy ambition. 

Mr. Henry Broadhurst, M.P., who saw a good deal of 
my Father, has also given his impressions of him: 

One of his remarkable characteristics was his constancy in friend- 
ship. With him, a friendship once formed, it would be an ad of 
great folly, or the commitment of a great wrong, that would lead 
to its forfeiture. I had the real pleasure and great privilege of what 



426 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

I believe to have been a mutual friendship of trust and confidence 
with Mr. Colman extending over twenty years. . . . 

No one who did not know him well could at all realize how 
great, grand and noble was his large heart, generous and sympa- 
thetic in small things as he was in great, and it is these traits which 
mean so much to the poor. 

Never in too great haste to promise, but when a promise was 
made, no man was ever more faithful to perform, and the measure 
of it invariably ran over. 

Quiet, reticent he was ; but kindly and observant. In asking 
my opinion of a man who came to see him in prosped of becoming 
a Liberal Candidate for one of the Norfolk Divisions, he said, ^ If 
you know him well enough, tell him to use less Latin, and more 
words easily understood by ordinary men." 

No observant person could know Mr. Colman without being 
benefited and improved in thought by his personal acquaintance. 
His noble and impressive presence, his dignified yet simple mien, 
his few but eiffe&ve words on many occasions on various subjeAs 
are still fresh in my memory. 

I have now lived fiir into the 'sixties, many of my old fnends 
have dropped out of the battle of life, but I can truly say that in 
no case did I feel the parting from a long, long fiiendship more 
keenly than I did when I heard that Mr. Colman was no longer 
with us. 

The writers of the above have touched on many charac- 
teristic points, to which something may be added, by way 
of elucidation or addition, in an attempt, in closing, to 
gather together the various traits in my Father's charader. 

He was not a man of many words. He liked to quote 
a remark made by Mr. Stuart, his son-in-law's fiither: 

I have often been sorry for speaking, but never for holding my 
tongue. 

Above all he was reticent about his innermost and deep- 
est beliefs and hopes. Cant phrases he abhorred. As early 
as 1855, when writing to his future brother-in-law, Herbert 
Cozens-Hardy, after some words in a serious strain on the 
desirability of thinking of the future life, he breaks off: 

• • • though I have no patience with the cant which is ever- 



CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 427 

lastingly uUing of heaven and doing nothing on earth. We all 
have some work to perform, and some position to fill, and in pro- 
portion as we do them will be our reward and happiness hereafter. 

This necessity for adHon was weighing on his mind. 
The neict month he wrote to the same correspondent: 

There will be much to do in the next forty years, the time 
when those of us who are now young will have to play our part 
in the great drama of the world. 

His views on the spirit in which such work should be 
undertaken were concentrated in some notes of his for a 
speech: 

But the work we have to do in the Nation must not be spas- 
modic: Continuous effort: 

Not discouraged by our failure: and n9t suUy iitJar — a great 
deal too much of this nowadays. 

He was quite prepared, in r^;ard to his own work, to 
get some amount or abuse as well as applause. Thus he 
put it in 1874: 

As a public man I must be con[tent] with all sorts of criticism, 
and I am not at all disturbed by it, even when I think it goes too 
far ; for on the other hand I am pretty sure to get more praise 
than I deserve, and so the one may balance the other. 

His rule was: 

If our principles are right, fight for them, and don't be too much 
depressed by temporary def«it. 

Adverse criticism did not quickly disturb or move him. 
" In my time I have been hooted a^ but it has never made 
me less a Liberal," was his verdiA in 1889. 

In claiming the right himself to follow the didates of 
his own conscience, he was anxious to resped the same 
right in others. He once said that he would have felt 
ashamed of himself if he had ever solicited one of his ten- 
ants for a vote. 



428 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

But though he held his opinions firmly, he certainly was 
not one of those persons who are never happy unless they 
are attacking somebody else. On the contrary, he was glad 
when the differences, religious, political, or whatever diey 
were, could be brushed aside, and reveal the underlying 
agreement. This feeling is shown in the follomng letter. 
Tne death of the Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, in 1892, had 
brought back a talk my Father had the previous year, at 
Corton, with Mr. Gladstone, and it was rresh in his mind 
when writing a letter of sympathy to the Rev. James A. 
Spurgeon. 

The notice in the ^^ Daily News ** last Monday, with a copy of 
the letters which passed last July between Mr. Gladstone and Mr. 
Spurgeon, and your Brother^s Postscript,^ with his own initials, 
brought hack vividly to my mind the talk I had with Mr. Glad- 
stone at that time. He was staying with me at Corton, near 
Lowestoft, and I well remember the pleasure with which Mr. 
Gladstone received the letter, and the surprise — almost incredulity 
—-with which I saw what was written, and which must have been 
a great effort in his prostrate condition. 

The sad bereavement from which Mr. Gladstone was suffering 
[the death of his son]j and 'the serious condition of your Brother, 
gave colour to all that passed. It would be difficult to find two 
men more diverse in many respeAs, but there was a link in their 
common faith and hope. The visit to the Tabernacle some years 
since was fresh in his memory, and he gave a full description of it. 

Though a keen politician, my Father did not let politics 
obtrude themselves into every branch of life. Indeed, as 
early as 1858, he wrote: 

I yield to no one in my determination to be un-influenced by 
** party ** in public life. 

^ This Poetscripty written by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon »t the end of 
a letter from Mrs. Spurgeon to Mr. GladBtone^ in re^y to one of sym- 
pathy^ was as follows : 

** Yours is a word of love such as those only write who have been into 
the King's country, and have seen much of His fiice. My heart's love 
to you." 



CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 429 

He saw no reason why political differences should sever 
friendships, or prevent co-operation. He hated bigotry, 
and he never liked to make base insinuations against his 
political opponents. 

Public speaking was never a delight to him, though in 
truth he had enough of it in his time* He had not that 
** fatal gift of words " — the despair of audiences — ^so when 
he spoke he was seldom long, said something definite, and 
paid his audience the compliment of careful preparation 
beforehand. He was never a rash speaker. Caution led 
him to take as one of his oft-quoted rules the advice con- 
tained in the "Biglow Papers " : " Don't never prophesy — 
onless ye know." ^ He never attempted the higher flights 
of oratory, leaving these to those who had special gifts in 
that diredion. 

One thing he systematically declined to do, and that was 
to open Bazaars. He did so once, and then ^Wowed a 
vow '' he would not do it a^ain, the situation, he said, 
having made him " feel such a tool." The laying of Founda- 
tion Stones, too, he gave up, declaring he " could not with 
sufficient dignity declare the stone * well and truly laid.' " 

My Father's wise judgment, a gift he seems to have 
inherited from his father, stood him in good stead through- 
out life, and not least in his commercial dealings. In a 
large business, with all its ramifications, the faculty of seeing 
clearly beforehand where a particular line of aftion is likely 
to leaid is all important. A decision in the Counting Room 
counts for so much. For it is with the business man as with 
the statesman, a plan of aftion once started has far-reaching 
results, which a reversal of policy may be useless to avert. 

His family motto, " Quick enough if well enough," or, 
as it runs in Latin, ^^ Sat cito si sat bene," might have been 
specially chosen by him, for he had a strong mixtiu*e of 
courage and caution in his charader. 

» J. R. LowcU: "The Biglow Papers," No. », "Ma$on and Slidell." 



430 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

This would lead some always to adopt some via media. 
It was not so, however, with him. It led him to most care- 
ful consideration before adooting any fresh line of policy. 
But once convinced of the advisabili^ he did not hesitate. 
*' It is a pity to spoil the ship for a penn'orth of tar '* was 
a proverb often quoted, and aAed on, by him. A success- 
ful newspaper wrote of him after his death : '^ No difficult 
enterprise ever had a more courageous and spirited 
backer." 

But his caution led him to beware of enterprises started 
with a great flourish of trumpets. It led him also to con- 
demn in unmeasured terms any rash speculation. *^ Avoid 
all speculation and risky business," was his advice to one 
whom he was helping to start in a business. He would 
have summed up his views in Mark Twain's aphorism: 

There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: 
when he can't afford it, and when he can. 

He condemned it none the less because stories of the 
resulting failure and misery — misery which almost always 
falls on the innocent as well as on the guilty — so often came 
to his ears. His theory was, in r^;ard to business life as well 
as mountaineering, that '^ it is easier to get into a perilous 
situation than out of it." The school of experience had 
brought the truth home. 

One of my early experiences, [he wrote in 1890,] was in rela^- 
don to a mining ainair upon which the Firm was approached with 
an assurance that five hundred pounds was the very outside amount 
which would be required, but the advances ran on to five thmsand^ 
and then we said we would have no more of it. You can under- 
stand that I have never forgotten this. 

My Father's caution led him also to be very careful not 
to allow his name to appear on Syndicates over which he 
could have no control. Once, when it was stronfi;ly pressed 
upon him that his name would be a valuable help, and the 



CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 431 

circumstances made it specially hard to decline, he wrote 
nevertheless: 

I am Sony that I cannot see my way to accede to your request 
that I should become either a permanent or ^temporary Director of 
the Company that is to take over your firm's business. You are 
quite right in supposing that I receive a good many similar requests, 
and they are all uniformly declined. The fzQ. is that my own 
business, added to my Parliamentary duties, is all that I can pos- 
sibly attend to — and if I were to allow my name to appear, once, 
as I>iredor of a Company in whose concerns I took no real part, 
the precedent would be very troublesome — even dangerous. I have, 
therefore, no alternative but to decline, though I am sorry to do so, 
as I would very gladly oblige a connexion of my old friend. 

He held certain maxims in regard to business. One was 
that : ^^ If a living can't be got by making a good article, I 
am sure it can't by a bad one." Another was that it was 
fatal to be daunted by difficulties. When a troublesome 
piece of work had to be done he would say to the Workman: 

We don't use the word ** Can't " at Carrow. 

He was happy in his relationship with those who worked 
for him. On his fiftieth birthday he received a letter of con- 
gratulation from the Clerks at Carrow Works. To this he 
sent the following reply through Mr. Alfred C. CuUey: 

June 16th, 1880. 
Dear Alfred, 

As YOU are the writer of the letter of congratulation I received 
this mommg, I must ask you to accept and convey to all whom 
you represent my best and heartiest thanks. I can assure you it 
touched me very much, and in the midst of a busy day I have 
many times thought of it with pleasure, thankfulness, and sati»- 
fBuEdon. In the occupation which takes me a good deal away from 
Norwich and very often gives me less time than I should desire for 
home a£Eiirs, it is pleasant to feel that I have so many around me 
who at their several posts will see that Carrow Works do not 
sufier. 



432 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

Whatever oiay be before me and before us all in the future, I 
hope the good and kindly feeling you express will remain unimr- 
paired and be continued to my sons. 

I can but return your good wishes to you all, and remain, 

Yours very truly, ' 

J. J. COLMAM. 

And one Employee, a carpenter, who came into specially 
close touch with my Father writes: 

Throughout my 50 years' service at Stoke Mill, Carrow, and 
Gorton, I have always found that he very much appreciated any 
man who tried to do his duty to the best of his ability, and to such 
of his Employees he was always most kind, thoughtful, and generous. 
And I cannot find words to express my gratitude to him for many 
favoiirs received, nor for the honoiu' and esteem in which I shall 
always hold his memory. 

The power of delegating work to others, essential in 
the development of a large business, was one my Father 
possessed. His position in conne&ion with it made him 
accustomed to issue the word of command. It was " Do 
this, and he doeth it," with none to question the authority. 
This, and the absolute necessity in his business life of 
dealing quickly with a vast variety of details, made him 
chary of those to whom talking is as the breath of life, 
Litde wonder that he should form the opinion that " the 
ideal committee is a committee of two, with t'other one 

PunAuality was one of his charafteristics, shown in 
keeping appointments, and at meals. The mid-day meal 
was of necessity a movable feast, for he often found it im- 
possible to return punftually from the Counting Room, but 
those who lingered after the appointed time in the morning 
had litde chance of being down in time for the Family 
Prayers, which always preceded breakfast. 

As early as 1 855 my Father, stirred by some rather shady 
commercial transactions, wrote to condemn them in a short 
paper en tided, ^^ The Race for Riches." In that he wrote: 



CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 433 

Let the merchants and tradesmen of England remember that 
riches are not the true mark of nobility any more than title is. A 
man returning his few hundreds a year may be much better and 
wiser than one who returns many thousands. 

The race for riches must not be the moving spring of adHon, for 
if it is it will surely bring unhappiness and misery in the end. 
Enterprise is wholesome enough but it must have a good foimda- 
rion to rest on. 

Thus it seems he was early on his guard a^inst the special 
temptations of business life. There is no doubt he felt the 
responsibilities which a successful business laid upon him. 
Among his papers were some notes he had made of a ser- 
mon by the Rev. G. S. Barrett dealing with the Dangers 
of Prosperity. He felt "that property has its duties as 
well as its privileges." And on one occasion he wrote : 

Money spent in the sacred cause of Charity . • . will bring no 
regrets. 

But for all this he could resent being didated to when it 
came down to details. 

I hope, [he wrote in replv to one correspondent,] I recognise the 
ia£t that I am a '* steward, but I must resdly be allowed to be my- 
self the judge of what cases I should assist. 

Indeed, the problem of how to spend money, as well as 
how to gain it, was one he felt must rest with the indi- 
vidual. In the case of his own children, as soon as boarding- 
school days were over, he gave them a definite anniud 
allowance to meet their personal and charitable claims, 
throwing on them the responsibility of spending it, in the 
belief that the experience thus gained, and the keeping of 
accounts, which was encoxiraged by both parents, would, be 
a useful training. 

One favourite method my Father had of giving charit- 
able help was by adding a percentage to the amount col- 
leAedy or by starting a fund with the promise of a second 
contribution when a certain sum was raised. 

A ready sympathy combined with a sound judgment, a 

F F 



434 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

union of tenderness aiid strength which is surely the best 
foundation of charafter, was probably one reason why his 
sympathies and help were widely drawn upon.' The sight 
of an ocean liner was enough to bring tears to his eyes, as 
the stately ship passed down the Solent, though not one of 
the number on board who had to face the unknown perils 
of the deep was personally known to him. This faculty of 

Cutting hioiself in the position of others was often shown, 
'hus when he put the eledric light info his house at 
Gorton he was most insistent that ohly a small and well- 
screened light should be fixed in the ^'.conspicuous tower," 
as that part of the house is described on the sailors' charts, 
lest any mariner on that treacherous coast should niistake 
it for: a light^house. 

Perhaps, too, the golden faculty of keeping silence was 
another reason why stories of anxiety and distress were so 
often confided to him. It has been written of him : 

There was no one to whom I would haVe gone Fo^'csounsd, or 
for sympattfy, or for help of any kind so confidendy as to Mr. 
Colman. 

He rejoiced in the opportunities of helping others, but 
he never caf ed for fulsome thanks in return: Indeed people 
hare said ' it was difficult to egress thanks tb him. My 
Father used to get quite iiidignaht at the list of Christmas 
Gifts acknowledged in the newspapers, and dedared no one 
could give a pound of tea nowadays without being pub- 
licly tlunked. And when it wa^ bbjefted thisit possibly the 
donors had nothing to do With the |)aMgfaphs^ he -us^ to 
reply, '^TJiey might haVe stopped Ihem if^ they'd liked." 
Once a substantial gift of his was acknowledged by a grate- 
ful committee, in its draft f6J>oft> by the'ferih "munificent." 
** Such nonsense,"- wscs' my *Fathef*s eoitfmeh^ 1>nnging 
down his fist oh the table with great emphasis at the -^ight 
of the offending wordi 'Which happily he was able to tone 
down^ before the report met the public eye. 



CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 435 

When. Mr. Gladstone was his guest at Corton, my 
Father attended a Church of England service with him, it 
was related several years afterwards that the one who was 
in charge of the colledting plate, which was handed first to 
my Famer» had a pang of disappointment when he saw him, 
as he thought, put only a shillmg into the plate, but a closer 
observation showed the silver had been carefully placed to 
hide the sovereign underneath. 

He always had a great horror of fulsome words. Among 
replies calculated to damp the ardour of editors desirous of 
inserting a sketch of his life in their periodicals^-^one which 
has not made the task of the present writer any the easier 
— ^was this: . . .. . . , 

Yes, if done judiciously, and without too much of what many 
such notices contain. 

Both giving and receiving flatteiy were opposed to his 
likings, and my Mother shared his dislike of what she 
termed ** fuss and flattety.'- 

Like all men in a similar position, he was a prey to the 
inevitable beggfing letter. The stereotyped 'Jjhrase asking 
^'thc fevouf Ota few minutes' conversation at your eariiest 
convenience,"' or the hdp*^* of a gift or loaa," occurredtwith 
monotonous- repetition. Apropos oi loans, arid^the torn* 
paradve rarity with which diey wei^ retumei^ riiy Father 
usied'tO'say he woaM be driven to follow the example of a 
friend of his, who, when asked for one,> used to'r^y to 
the applicant : " I've got jf 10 which I always: use 'for lend- 
ing;^ it is^^ out just fiowj but when it comes back your shall 
have the next turn " — an event likely to l^e so remote, that 
the applicant would fi[0 ruefxdly away. 

Though it was orten a pleasure to my > Father to help, 
yet the strain on his time and thought was a heavy one, 
even when he- had a secretary to relieve him, for he never 
liked to give help recklessly without making careful en- 
quiries. The very divergence of the requests was bewilder- 



436 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

ing. One wanted to know if he advised her to sell out her 
shares in a certain G>mpanv, another if he would buy an 
island on the other side oi the Atlantic, and a third if he 
would " mount a play." 

Some thought a grateful Sovereign had omitted their 
names by mistake from the list of Birthday Honours, and 
hoped my Father might take steps to point this out to the 
powers that be. This once brought the comment from him 
that: 

This seeking after titles by men of such established reputation 
and conspicuous ability, [this one happened to be in the legal world,] 
is a curious phenomenon. 

It was certainly a phenomenon he could not understand. 
When Mr. Gladstone, in 1893, asked leave to submit his 
name to the Queen for a Baronetcy, he begged to decline 
the honour, though expressing his thanks ^^ heartily for the 
kind way " in which the proposal was conveyed. 

Anything I can do, [he wrote,] to promote the principles I have 
always supported ... I am glad to do, but I much prefer that it 
should be without the reward or rank a title is supposed to give — 

a sentiment to which my Mother most cordially assented. 
My Father was not slow in seeing people's litde foibles 
and follies, but his satirical comments, often seemingly un- 
suspefted by those who caused them, were never bitter. 
Nor was he very severe in his judgments. It was an eflfbrt 
to him to part from any one who had served him for any 
length of time, even though his trust had been abused. 
An unmeasured censure on some individual, given with all 
Ae arrogance of youth, once brought forth the rebuke from 
him: 

Perhaps when you get as old as I am you will find your judg- 
ments get less severe. 

His sense of humour was very keen, though not of a 
boisterous kind, and at times — and this when the occasion 
most demanded solemnity — ^he found it almost impossible 



CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 437 

to control his sense of merriment. "My unfortunate 
tendency to laugh when I should be grave," is alluded to 
in an early letter to my Mother, and she in return alludes 
to his "quizzing propensity." Perhaps only those who knew 
him intimately realised how keen his sense of humour was. 

My Father loved a quiet home life. True he liked en- 
tertaining friends, but a restless round of entertainment 
would have been intolerable to him, and his busy whirl of 
outside duties often made him crave for a quiet fireside 
when at home. Once when the education of^his children 
necessitated a new inmate in the house, he was asked if she 
should join them at the evening, as well as the mid-day, 
meal, but his reply was emphatic : " No ; not if she were 
an angel from Heaven." When no guests were present 
requiring any ceremony, my Father, when the dessert 
course was reached, used to move from his end of the table, 
and take an easy chair by my Mother's side. There, with 
closed doors, and no outsider by, he had the opportunity 
of quiet discussion, often appealing to her for guidance, 
and he was chary indeed of giving this up. 

The garden was another place where he sought quiet, 
and both at Carrow and Corton he liked to put up little 
summer-houses in difierent parts of the garden where he 
could combine shelter and rest. One of diese, at Corton, 
hdng the sea was a special favourite. His youngest 
daiig^ter recalls, at the time of her engagement, that he 
troubled the newly engaged couple with no good advice, 
but had just this request to make : ^* Well, I l^ve only one 
thing to say. I hope anyhow you will leave me the Sea 
View Cottage." 

In his earlier days my Father used to ride a good deal. 
He used to say that when he was young he never minded 
how dark the country roads were when he was riding or 
driving, but in later life he preferred to have gas lamps to 
light tibe way. 

He was accustomed to drive himself, a gig serving the 



438 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

purpose in early life, and a mail phaeton in later years. 
During the last year or so of his life, when strength was 
failing, he made a point of drives in an open carriage, 
undaunted by the weather, and felt the benefit of them. \ 

Cruelty to animals roused his lindignation. On one oc- 
casion he was driving with one of his daughters in a hansom 
in London when the cabman began slashing iiis - :horsei 
My Fath^v caught hold of the rdDoundinglashv with the 
result, that when the driver jerked the handle back, pfe^ 
paratory to another stroke, the whip broke: Arrived at 
the destination, the cabman angrily demanded payment for 
damage, whereupon my Father handed his visiting card to 
the man, and expressed the hope that he would sununon 
him, .^ that the full version might be told. - Needless to 
say, the man thought discretion the better part of valour, 
and nothing more was heardof the incident..* . * > 

As a boy my Father was fond of cricket. When he had 
ceased to play himself he liked to encourage it in others, 
believing it was a ^^ harmless and heakhful game," and free 
from objeftionable features. When the Lakenham Cricket 
Ground, part of the property < belonging to the Martineau 
Family,^ was bought .by die Firm of which', my Father lAras 
a member, a j;round on which he remembered his ^' father, 
the eldest ofTeleven brothers, playing 35 years: mo," hey 
with his Partners, set it aside for the. enjoyment on cricket 
and other sports^by the public. \ But one thing he set his face 
against— the betting associated with isome of the games in' 
this country. . / ' : : ■ 

Let sport^ [he once said,] be manly, and straightforwardly con- 
du£ted without this terrible curse. 

Believing that " Norwich compared favourably with other 
parts of the /country " in this watter^ he was much disturbed^ 
to fin^oAt Qtie timp, in connexion with some Athledc Sports 
and Football, that some amount of rowdyism took place on 
the Lakenham Ground which he believed had its c»igin 



CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 439 

in betting. He at once communicated with the officials of 
the Societies, feeling sure of their support, and subseouently 
gave public notice that if the evil were not checked the per- 
mission to use the Ground would. assuredly be withdrawn. 

It was a bold man — an old sea salt — ^who once at a Regatta 
at Oulton, paddling his boat round a wheny from which 
my Father was watching the racing^ asked him, ^^ Will you 
lay anything on, guv'nor ? ** My Father's naUve incompre- 
hension of the drift of the question, followed by his em- 
phatic negative, appealed to the sense of fun in Dr. Berry 
(of Wolverhampton), one of the party on board, who never 
ceased to chaff him about his ^^ betting friend.'* 

I am told that, when young, my Father was fond of 
boating, the river at Stoke doubtless fostering the taste. 
In later life yachting was one of his relaxations. In 1864 
he bought a cutter, the " Wanderer," of about 20 tons, 
but in 1 88 1 he gave this up for the **Mars," a yawl of 
42 tons. For the last two years of his life he had a steam 
yacht, first the ^^Ossian," which he hired for 1 897, and then 
the " Wild Wave," which he bought. Perhaps he could 
hardly be described as an ardent yachtsman, loving the sea 
in all its varying moods ; and occasional yachting trips to 
the South Coast of England were usually of short duration. 
He wrote of himself in 1897: ^^ I am fond of the sea in a 
certain sense, but I am fonder still of the solid shore, e^e* 
cially at night time." But day trips on a yacht when at 
Corton, surrounded by the life-giving air of the North Sea, 
and away from the worry of letters and telegrams, were a real 
boon to him. Though L from being an inveterate smoker, 
my Father used to enjoy a cigar, and especially so when on 
the water .^ He used to say that Jolce far niente was the only 
Italian he knew, and there was no place so good for carrying 
it out as on a yacht. He liked to feel both body and brain 
could there get a real- r^st, and a friend, the Rev. J. C. 
Harrison, who accompanied him one day prepared to study 
Canon Mozley's views on Original Sin, was the butt of 



440 JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

much friendly chaiF when he was found at the end of the . 
day with the book unopened. 

Shooting was a sport in which my Father indulged. In 
the early days, before coming to Norwich, he hired some 
shooting at Hempnall and Stoke, followed by some at 
Ashwellthorpe, and Saxthorpe, and between 1865-7 he had 
some at Horstead. Later on he hired shooting round 
Easton and Morton, about eight miles from Norwich. 
This had given the opportunity of bringing him into touch 
with his landlord, Mr. Berney of Morton Hall, with whom, 
and with Mrs. Berney, his relations were always of the 
pleasantest. He specially enjoyed the day's shoot round 
the Hall, with its chance or enjoying the view from the 
terrace, which he considered one of the most beautiful in 
Norfolk. My Father used to enjoy a day's sport, laigely 
from the luxury of spending several hours in die fresh air, 
but he looked upon it as a recreation only, and it was not 
allowed to usurp much time, or interfere with the duties of 
life. In a letter to my Mother in 188 1, after being called 
to London on Parliamentary business, he announced: 

I arrived after a quiet journey only varied by the company of 

one of the s, who seemed to have nothing to do but shoot 

and other occupations of a similar kind, and who devoted nearly 
all the journey to Brandon to cleaning the locks of his gun with 
such devotion that I came to the conclusion being too busy was 
almost better than being so idle. . . . Of course I wish things had 
not happened to bring me up, but after all when one sees how the 
leaders are sticking to their hateful task it would be perhaps selfish 
to have stayed for a day's sport. 

He was assuredly no slave to games, and there were few 
indoor ones he played. At one time he used to enjoy an 
occasional game of chess, and during the latter part or his 
life sometimes backgammon. He never played cards, and 
though late in his life a friend undertook to teach him at 
least the names of them, he used to tell her that though he 
grasped the difference between diamonds and hearts, he 



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CHARACTERISTICS AND TASTES 441 

was never quite sure which were spades and which were 
clubs. 

He preferred to take his relaxation in reading. A diligent 
reader of newspapers and magazines, he by no means con- 
fined himself to those of his own way of thinking. If sur- 
prise were expressed at his reading those of widely diver- 
gent views from his own, he used to smile and quote the 
reply of one friend that he ^^ must see what the Devil was 
doing!" 

Books attrafted my Father by their covers as well as by 
their insides, and an idition de luxe was always a temptation 
to him. When they had to have their leaves cut he was 
very particular that this should be done widi care. If it was 
only a magazine, bought on a railway journey, he always 
produced a paper knife from his travelling bag — ^his in* 
separable companion — ^for the purpose. He gathered to* 
gether, apart from the books in ihis Norfolk Library, a very 
varied assortment, seen especially in the books with which 
he surrounded himself in his own study. It is difficult to 
single out favourite authors. But mention must be made 
of the writings of the Rev. Alexander Maclaren, D.D., 
a personal acquaintance. My Father often read sermons 
on Sundays, by preachers or varying Denominations, and 
few attrafted him more than those of the great B^tist 
preacher. Oliver Wendell Holmes, in another department 
of literature, specially charmed him by his mingled humour 
and pathos. One of his poems, ^* Sun and Shadow," he had 
illustrated for himself in pen and ink, and it used to hang 
just opposite his study door at Corton, where he could 
frecyuently be reminded of the moralisings of the poet as he 
watched the ships tacking, with their sails sometimes in 
sunshine and sometimes in shade, a sight which my Father 
could frequendy see as he looked out from his own study 
window : 

Thus drifting afar to the dim-vaulted caves 
Where life and its ventures are laid. 



44^ JEREMIAH JAMES COLMAN 

The dreamers who gaze while we battle the waves 

May see us in sunshine or shade; 
Yet true to our course, though the sh^pws grow dark,. 

We'll trim our broad sail as before, 
And stand bj the rudder that governs the bark. 

Nor ask how we look from die shore! 

He read few aovelsy of modern ones hardly any, except 
those .by! William Blacky whose, descriptions of yachting 
scenes came to him with a breezy freshness. He was fond 
of Charles Dickens' works. "The Tale .of Two Cities " 
W31S a, special favourite, ^d the ever-fresh Christmas 
StDnesL 

. " Though,'* as he wrote when, he had attained the age 
of 60, ."you know I am neither theologiaa nor philosopher, 
and you must not e3q)eft me to start on these lines now,'* 
he sometimes bemoaned he had not more time to study. 

Unfortunately, [he wrote in 1893 >^ thankipgiibr a book of 
stories,] people, who are in business, and M